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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  companies.

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.