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Tiếng Việt

earing of Ms. Tran To Nga's lawsuit in Paris  on May  Accompanying for justice, with Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange

On April 25, 2024, at the Press Conference on the May 7 Hearing of the Paris Court of Appeal judging the case of Ms. Tran To Nga, a French citizen of Vietnamese origin who was a victim of Agent Orange/dioxin suing 14 chemical companies that produced Agent Orange/dioxin for the US military to use during the Vietnam War, French lawyers, once again, reaffirmed their determination to fight to the end for justice, not only for Nga, in particular, but also for victims of Agent Orange in general. After the press conference, the Delegation of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin led by Major General, Associate Professor, Dr. Nguyen Hong Son, Vice President of VAVA, met and worked with partners and organizations supporting Nga's lawsuit, such as: the William Bourdon Law Office, the Collectif Vietnam Dioxin Group, the France-Vietnam Friendship Association, etc.


 During the Press Conference, Attorneys William Bourdon and Bertrand Repolt reported on their working visit to Vietnam and the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin in March 2024. The two lawyers express that the lawsuit is a big challenge that not only requires perseverance and determination, but this is certainly a historic event in the fight for justice for millions of victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam.

 William Bourdon said: "We have visited the victims at their home and at the care, nurturing and rehabilitation centers in Hanoi, Ninh Binh and Ho Chi Minh City. We were heartbroken when we saw children born with serious consequences due to Agent Orange/dioxin. It can be said that Agent Orange/dioxin has caused catastrophe for the environment and human health, in both quality of life and socio-economics.  This toxic chemical has caused terrible consequences for many generations without an end. That is the most heartbreaking reality and cannot be denied."

 According to William, the upcoming appeal session will consider the compensation of American chemical companies. He said: "I hope that with strong and convincing arguments, the Paris Court of Appeal will consider and eliminate the immunity that American chemical companies are enjoying, which enable them to enrich at the expense of millions of victims. Agent Orange/dioxin causes disaster to human health and the environment!. We should make it clear that these chemical companies produced Agent Orange because they sped up the production process which increased the toxic substance many times beyond the allowable threshold allowed by the government. The upcoming trial will be decisive in changing the court's perspective on compensation for related victims of Agent Orange. Agent Orange/dioxin has extremely terrible effects, leaving behind irreparable consequences and will continue to cause much suffering for future generations of the victims."

 Attorney Bertrand Repolt said that the importance is that we make the American chemical companies aware of the dangers of the chemical products they supplied to the US military. He said: "It is necessary to consider the accountability of American chemical companies for their actions done in the 60s and 70s of the last century. To do this, we had to coordinate with lawyers from the US, who are able to access confidential documents and internal records at that time as part of this lawsuit. We will strive to pursue the fight for justice with all our determination and strong arguments. We are very happy to see that Nga is not alone. The Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin, many organizations, many associations and peace lovers are supporting this lawsuit. "

 At the Press Conference, Nga shared her preparations for the upcoming Court of Appeals: "We have been waiting for this day since 2021 after filing an Appeal to the Paris Court of Appeals. It has been 10 years since I filed the application to the Evry Criminal Court in 2014, and I feel very happy to see more and more attention from the society to the issue of Agent Orange/dioxin. I'm also very happy to receive much support from organizations, associations, and individuals who are mobilizing public opinion for the lawsuit and donating to help us pay the legal costs."


Ms. Tran To Nga (standing) – the plaintiff of the lawsuit – speaks at the press conference


 Nga added that: "Today's press conference is an extremely important event because of the presence of many international reporters and journalists, especially the French press, to spread support and understanding of the society about the Appeal Trial for an Agent Orange victim this time. I hope that the large concentration of people on May 4, 2024 in Paris will make the judge see more clearly the support of public opinion for the lawsuit for justice for me and the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, so that they will make sound judgment." “It can be said that my struggle this time, despite without bombs or weapons, is still extremely hard. I hope that through this court, the younger generation will continue to condemn the use of Agent Orange/dioxin during the war in Vietnam".

 After the Press Conference, representatives of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin met and worked with French partners, organizations, law offices, and associations supporting the Nga’s lawsuit. On this occasion, Mr. Nguyen Hong Son, Vice President of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin, expressed his thank to the French friends for organizing the Press Conference to support Nga's lawsuit at the Paris Court of Appeal and affirmed the strong support of the Association and Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange for the lawsuit. The conference attracted a large number of foreign reporters, especially the French press, contributing to spread the voice of justice and human conscience.

The VAVA delegation will stay in France until May 7 to attend the hearing at the Court of Appeal. Prior to the event, the delegation had a series of important sideline activities such as meeting with associations and volunteer groups to raise funds to support legal fees  on April 26; meeting with people's organizations (April 27-28); meeting with the French Senate on April 29; meeting with the Belgian House of Representatives on April 30; large meeting calling for support on May 4; etc. to mobilize support for Nga’s lawsuit in particular and Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, in general.

There are still many difficulties ahead! We need great support from every individual, organization, and association in France as well as in Vietnam and peace-lovers anywhere in the world. Let’s be determined and have raise our voice to protect the victims of Agent Orange and ensure that justice will be done. We are not alone in this struggle!

 Foreign Affairs Department,

Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin



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