German Communist Party backs Vietnamese AO victims

The German Communist Party (DKP) on May 10 issued a statement expressing its support for the lawsuit lodged by Vietnamese French Tran To Nga and Vietnamese Agent Orange/dioxin victims against 14 multinational chemical groups.

German Communist Party backs Vietnamese AO victims hinh anh 1

Caring for children infected with AO/dioxin (Photo: VNA)

In a statement sent to the Vietnamese Embassy in Germany and the Vietnam News Agency representative office in Berlin, the DKP stated that on May 10, a court in Evry city, Paris ruled that the case fell outside its jurisdiction.

This ruling has once again ignored millions of Vietnamese who are suffering from serious consequences caused by the chemical war waged by the US troops during the war in Vietnam, it said, stressing that the party will continue bringing to light culprits behind the sufferings of Vietnamese victims.

The DKP also affirmed its profound solidarity with Tran To Nga and AO victims in Vietnam.

Earlier, the Bourdon & Associated law firm also vowed to accompany Nga and Vietnamese AO victims in their struggle for justice. It wished that she would take care of herself to keep on fighting to the end.

In their announcement issued right after the Evry court’s ruling, lawyers William Bourdon, Amélie Lefebvre và Bertrand Repolt, who have supported Nga for more than 10 years, affirmed that the court was applying an obsolete definition of the immunity of jurisdiction principle which contradicted modern principles of international and national law. 
 
They said they were surprised as the court recognised that the companies concerned had acted under the constraint of the then US government whereas they answered to a call for tenders, which they were free to do or not. 

More seriously, the US government at that time did not force the production of products containing a high dioxin concentration such as Agent Orange. This only came from the policy of the chemical companies themselves, the lawyers said.
 
Nga, 79, accuses 14 multinational chemical companies, including herbicide manufacturer Monsanto (now under the Bayer Group of Germany), of supplying the herbicide and defoliant chemical - Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin, which was used extensively by the US army between 1961-1971 in Vietnam, causing serious consequences for 4 million people and severely poisoning the environment.
 
The woman, also an AO victim, has pursued the lawsuit for over a decade, including six years in court.

After the ruling on May 10, Nga said she will appeal immediately, kicking off a new journey no matter how difficult it will be.

She emphasised that she will be at the forefront of a march in Paris on May 15 to oppose Monsanto and reiterate the lawsuit.

German newspaper: Consequences of Agent Orange lingers in Vietnam

Germany’s Frankfurter Rundschau (FR) newspaper on May 9 ran an article highlighting a lawsuit by Vietnamese-French Tran To Nga over multinational companies which produced and sold the toxic chemical Agent Orange (AO) containing dioxin sprayed by US forces during the war in Vietnam. The article emphasizes that the consequences of the toxins continue lingering in Vietnam until now.

The author of the article, Stefan Brändle, described 79-year-old Nga as a woman with a robust appearance but suffering from many different severe diseases such as breast cancer, type-II diabetes, high blood pressure, alpha thalassemia and heart-related diseases.

When she was exposed to AO/dioxin in 1966, Nga did not know about the fatal effect of the chemical that can transmit to later generations. But when she gave birth to her first child in 1969, the baby girl lived only 17 months and died due to respiratory and skin problems. Her two others daughters are still alive but have poor health conditions, and a grand-daughter of Nga suffers from heart diseases.

The author wrote that during 1961-1971, the US army sprayed 80 million litres of herbicides and defoliants, 46 million litres of which were AO produced by many companies, including the US chemical manufacturer Monsanto, which is now part of the Bayer Group, in order to defoliate entire forests and track down Vietnamese soldiers.

Agent Orange, which also contains the poisonous dioxin and directly attacks the genetic make-up, has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of sick people in Vietnam.

Even today, in the fourth generation after the end of the war, around 6,000 babies with deformities and serious diseases are born in Vietnam every year, the article stressed.

In 1984, US veterans who participated in the Vietnam war were paid almost 180 million USD in compensation. However, Vietnamese AO victims have been paid nothing.

Nga, therefore, filed a lawsuit at Evry, France, where she now lives, against 14 chemical giants such as Monsanto or Dow Chemical in 2004. The ruling is expected to be issued on May 10.

 

According to the article, after that day, the defendants can appeal and that would be a disadvantage for Nga, as doctors said that the 79-year-old doesn't have much time left.

However, the Vietnamese French woman is still not discouraged, as she wants to expand the lawsuit to include the offense of “ecocide” - a crime against nature. The French National Assembly included the term in its new climate law at the beginning of May, the article wrote./.

French law firm affirms support for Vietnamese AO victim's lawsuit

The France-based Bourdon & Associates law firm affirmed its support for Vietnamese-French Tran To Nga in her lawsuit against multinational chemical companies after the Crown Court of Evry City ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to hear her case on May 10.

In their announcement issued right after the Evry court’s ruling, William Bourdon, Amélie Lefebvre và Bertrand Repolt, who have supported Nga for more than 10 years, affirmed that the court was applying an obsolete definition of the immunity of jurisdiction principle which contradicted modern principles of international and national law.

They said they were surprised as the court recognised that the companies concerned had acted under the constraint of the then US government whereas they answered to a call for tenders, which they were free to do or not.

More seriously, the US government at that time did not force the production of products containing a high dioxin concentration such as Agent Orange. This only came from the policy of the chemical companies themselves, the lawyers said.

Nga, 79, accuses 14 multinational chemical companies, including herbicide manufacturer Monsanto (now under the Bayer Group of Germany), of supplying the herbicide and defoliant chemical - Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin, which was used extensively by the US army between 1961-1971 in Vietnam, causing serious consequences for 4 million people and severely poisoning the environment.

The woman, also an AO victim, has pursued the lawsuit for over a decade, including six years in court.

During 1961-1971, the US troops sprayed 80 million liters of herbicides and defoliants, 46 liters of which were Agent Orange produced by many companies./.

Vietnamese-French woman presses ahead with historic AO lawsuit

Vietnamese-French woman Tran To Nga affirmed she will continue her lawsuit against multinational companies for producing and selling chemical toxins sprayed by US forces during the war in Vietnam after the Crown Court of Evry City ruled that it was not competent enough to hear her case.

Nga, 79, accuses 14 multinational chemical companies, including herbicide manufacturer Monsanto (now under the Bayer Group of Germany), of supplying the herbicide and defoliant chemical - Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin, which was used extensively by the US army between 1961-1971 in Vietnam, causing serious consequences for 4 million people and severely poisoning the environment.

The woman, also an AO victim, has pursued the lawsuit for over a decade, including six years in court.

Regarding the Crown Court of Evry City’s ruling, Nga said she was not surprised as she was prepared. The woman stated that she will appeal immediately, kicking off a new journey no matter how difficult it will be.

On the evening of May 10, a committee in support of Nga’s lawsuit will meet to discuss the upcoming strategy. A press conference will take place on the morning of May 11 with the participation of French and foreign press agencies interested in the case.

Nga emphasised she will be at the forefront of a march in Paris on May 15 to oppose Monsanto and reiterate the lawsuit./.VNA

 
 

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