Apr 7 – Apr 13, 2014 Defenders’ Weekly: Vietnam Authorities honestly released Prisoners of Conscience?

Defenders-weekly-267x300

[box style=”blue rounded” ]Under international pressure, Vietnam’s communist government freed additional two political prisoners named Vi Duc Hoi and Nguyen Tien Trung this week after the release of Dr. Cu Huy Ha Vu, who was forced to exile in the U.S. with a reason of taking medical treatment.
Residents in the central province of Ha Tinh upraised against police and local authorities to ask for justice and protect their property.
In addition, there were some interesting international news, including participation of some young activists to the human rights report of Canada’s Human Rights Committee and the release of the UK’s report on Vietnam’s human right record for 2013.[/box]

*********Apr 7, 2014 *********

Funeral of patriotic teacher, former political prisoner Dinh Dang Dinh

Mr. Dinh Dang Dinh, a chemical teacher and former political prisoner passed away on April 3, two weeks after being freed by the communist government. His coffin was stationed in the Saigon-based Redemptorist Church. Hundreds of his friends, social activists, representatives of non-government organizations and civil societies came to pay salute him and share the losses with his family.

At 7am on April 7, about 1,000 people gathered in the church to attend Mr. Dinh’s funeral ceremony. Numerous policemen, security agents and traffic officers were around, closely monitored the funeral from very beginning to the end.

Activists of the International Amnesty had an initiative to hold a banner “I am Dinh Dang Dinh”. One activist said that “We expect the banner will encourage those whose freedom of expression rights was violated.” This sentence was the final conclusion of Mr. Dinh funeral.

For further reading:

Dinh Dang Dinh

Lễ tang thầy giáo Đinh Đăng Định

Thánh lễ an táng nhà giáo Phêrô Đinh Đăng Định

HƯỚNG SINH CỦA MẠNG LƯỚI ÂN XÁ QUỐC TẾ TƯỞNG NIỆM CỰU TÙ NHÂN LƯƠNG TÂM ĐINH ĐĂNG ĐỊNH

Representatives of civil societies hold second meeting in Saigon

The second meeting of civil societies was held on morning of April 6, with participation of representatives from the Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience, the Vietnamese Women for Human Rights (VNWHR) and the Association for Victims of Injustice as well as other individuals.

During the meeting, Dr. Pham Chi Dung reviewed information on Vietnam’s domestic politics and foreign affairs which showed that the communist government is under great international pressure on human rights issue.

For further reading:

Nhà cầm quyền dần công nhận sự hiện diện của các tổ chức Xã hội dân sự

Former political prisoner Huynh Minh Tam died

Engineer Huynh Minh Tam was born in 1940 in Go Cong district in Kien Giang province. He was a teacher of Cao Thang technical college before the country’s reunification in 1975. He was arrested in 1979 and later jailed for life imprisonment for peaceful political activists. He was released in 1979.

Mr. Tam passed away on April 5 due to tuberculosis disease. He was burried at home.

The Former Vietnam Prisoners of Conscience sent its representative to pay condolence and expressed sympathy with his family.

For further reading:

Hội CTNLT phúng viếng đám tang cựu tù chính trị Huỳnh Minh Tâm

Prisoner of Conscience Ho Thi Bich Khuong at bad health conditions

Mr. Nguyen Trung Duc, a son of prisoner of conscience Ho Thi Bich Khuong on April 7 said in an interview with the Radio for Free Asia (RFA) that his mother’s health is very bad due to an arm injury. She was beaten in prison so she has been forced to use wheel chair to move.

Ms. Khuong was arrested for the third time on Jan 15, 2011 and charged with an anti-state propaganda under Article 88 of the Penal Code. She was later sentenced for five years in jail and three years under house arrest.

For futher reading:

Sức khỏe bà Hồ Thị Bích Khương đáng lo ngại

Hồ Thị Bích Khương

Hanoi police harassed students members of the Green House club

Tran Quang Trung, a student of Hanoi Economic University and a member of the Green House club was shortly detained by police in Linh Nam district in Hoang Mai district due to his participation in a cycling campaign for promoting environmental protection.

Trung said his team took part in the cycling campaign for environmental issues, not for political ones but police said the campaign is a form of protest of students.

Police also interogated other members of the Green House club and took all uniforms of the club.

For further reading:

Công an Hà Nội sách nhiễu sinh viên CLB Mái Ấm xanh

Vietnam freed Dr. Cu Huy Ha Vu

On April 7, the office of the Chairman of the Foreign Committee of the U.S. House of Representative informed that Dr. Cu Huy Ha Vu was released and arrived to the U.S..

Dr. Vu was arrested on Nov 5, 2010 and sentenced for seven years in jail for anti-state propaganda.

Before being arrested, Dr. Vu diseminated writing calling for multi-party democracy, objecting to the bauxite mining project in the Central Highlands and demanding amendments to the country’s Constitution. He also attemped to suit incumbent Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung for approving the bauxite mining project and other issues.

For further reading:

Cu Huy Ha Vu

TS Cù Huy Hà Vũ đã đến Mỹ

Hoa Kỳ hoan nghênh Việt Nam trả tự do cho TS Cù Huy Hà Vũ

HRW: ‘TS Hà Vũ phải lưu vong’

Phạm Chí Dũng : Hãy để yên cho ông Cù Huy Hà Vũ sống như một người bình thường

Young Vietnamese activists attended a meeting of the Human Rights Committee of Canada’s Senate

A group of young Vietnamese activists from the country and abroad on April 7 attended the meeting of the Human Rights Committee of Canada’ Senate on human rights situation in Vietnam. The meeting aimed to review human rights issues in Vietnam and its commitment to international organizations on the issues.

Vietnamese activists are scheduled to meet local Vietnamese overseas, urging them to press Canada’s government to take specific actions to deal with human rights violations in Vietnam.

For further reading:

Các nhà hoạt động trẻ VN điều trần trước Ủy ban Nhân quyền Canada

Duong Noi farmers used their blood, vowing to protect their land

Recently, more and more farmers have sent petitions asking justice for their land. Hundreds of farmers in Duong Noi village in Hanoi already lost their cultivating land. On April 7, representatives of 365 families in Duong Noi commune in Ha Dong district used their blood, swearing to keep their land.

For further reading:

Người dân Dương Nội trích máu ăn thề đòi đất

Dân oan Dương Nội trích máu ăn thề

*************Apr 8, 2014************

Policemen, mobs attacked residents in government office

In the morning of April 8, over 50 Vietnamese who suffered from unjustice across the nation gathered in the Hanoi-based government building on Ngo Thi Nham street to file petitions for land seizure. They couldn’t meet an officer in charge. When they were waiting, many mobs came and beat them. Ms. Uoc, a resident in Binh Phuoc was seriously beaten although she tried to escaped

For further reading:

An ninh, côn đồ đánh dân oan tại trụ sở tiếp dân

UK’s Foreign Office released a human rights report of Vietnam in 2013

The Foreign Ministry of the UK recently issued a human rights report of Vietnam in 2013, saying the situation in Vietnam “remains of significant concern.”

The report notes Vietnam’s resumption of executions, “detentions and harassment of bloggers, demonstrators and human rights defenders” and the government’s new law regulation the use of the internet and “effectively tightening its control.”

The report, on the other hand, recognizes advances in other areas such as the ability of human rights defenders to hold the first Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender parade in the country.

Vietnam also signed UN Convention against Torture. The communist country was elected to the UN Human Rights Council in November.

For further reading:

Việt Nam – Báo cáo nhân quyền 2013 của Bộ Ngoại giao Anh

Báo cáo nhân quyền 2013 của Bộ Ngoại giao Anh

Petition asking religious freedom in prison

Former prisoners of consciences and religious clerks have signed a petition asking Vietnam’s government to allow prisoners to follow their belief while serve their sentences. The petition, signed by fomer political prisoners Chu Mạnh Sơn, Nguyễn Xuân Anh, Hồ Văn Oanh và Nguyễn Văn Thanh, was sent to the Vietnam Committee for Peace and Justice.

For further reading:

Bản Kiến Nghị Đòi Được Hưởng Quyền Tự Do tôn Giáo Trong Nhà tù

************April 9*************

Vinh Long police continues to harass Hoa Hao Buddhist followers

Afternoon of April 9, Mr. Bui Van Luot, head of Vinh Long province’s Hoa Hao Buddhist Association (Giáo Hội Phật giáo Hòa Hảo Thuần túy -PGHHTT) and his deputy Lê Văn Sóc and two followers and one child were beaten on their way to attend a pray in Thanh Trung commune in Binh Tan district. In their return, plain clothed policemen attacked the five people, causing serious injures for them.

One day earlier, Nguyen Van Vinh, one follower of Hoa Hao Buddhist in Long Giang commune in Cho Moi district in An Giang province, organized a party to commemorate his late mother. However, policemen blocked his house and did not allow other to come in. Police in the Vinh Long province also blocked houses of other Hoa Hao clerks, not allowing them to go out.

Vietnam’s police violated human rights and religious freedom.

For further reading:

Công an tỉnh Vĩnh Long tiếp tục hành hung tín đồ PGHH

Prisoner of Conscience Dang Xuan Dieu cried for help

The health of prisoner of conscience Dang Xuan Dieu is at critical condition as he is at the 16th day of hunger strike which aims to protest the prison’s refuse to solve his denunciations.

His family member couldn’t meet him at the latest visit. Mr. Dieu has not confessed to commit any crime and refused to take prison’s dresses which are printed with “Criminal” on.

Mr. Dieu was arrested in July of 2011 in Saigon. The People’s Court in the central province of Nghe An sentenced him with 13 years in jail for attempt to overthrow the government, under Article 79 of the Criminal Code. In a trial, he refused a lawyer and rejected all charges against him.

Refer to:

Từ nhà tù, tù nhân lương tâm Đặng Xuân Diệu kêu cứu

Vụ thanh niên Công giáo : Đặng Xuân Diệu yêu cầu được xử đúng luật

**********April 10**************

Policemen in the central province of Ha Tinh were attacked by local residents

A conflict between residents and local cadres of Trung Son village in Bac Son commune in Thach Ha district occurred on affternoon of April 10. The conflict was triggered by local cadres’ attempt to take land from residents to build Vinh Hang park.

Local residents have conducted many protests against the land seizure and they were violently supressed by police forces. On April 10, policemen came to arrest one young resident and charged him with activities causing social disorders. Disagreeing with police’s act, Trung Son villagers detained policement to protest the arrest. Ha Tinh authorities sent hundreds of policemen, including mobile forces, but they met strong objection from the local residents.

In evening, local residents came to the house of the commune’s police head, demolish his furniture and burned his motorbike. All local cadres fleed to avoid being attacked by angry residents.

For further reading:

Xung đột lớn tại Hà Tĩnh: Dân ‘vây đánh’ công an, phá nhà quan chức

Công an Hà Tĩnh ‘bị dân vây đánh

Đất đai : Xung đột giữa công an và dân Hà Tĩnh

Ms. Tran Thi Ngoc Minh urged international organizations and foreign government to take actions for freeing union activist Do Thi Minh Hanh.

While in the capital city of Berlin, Ms. Minh attended the German parliament’s Human Rights Committee on April 8. She also met with the special envoy on human rights of the German parliament on April 9.

She paid a courtesy visit to lawmaker Sabine Bätzing –Lichtenthäler who adopted his daughter Hanh who is in jail for helping workers to demand for higher salary and better working conditions.

Ms. Hanh’s case was concerned by the German parliament and government.

For further reading

Do Thi Minh Hanh

Bà Trần Thị Ngọc Minh thỉnh cầu quốc hội và chính phủ Đức đòi trả tự do cho Đỗ Thị Minh Hạnh

**********April 12**************

Political prisoner Vi Duc Hoi was released

Mr. Hoi was jailed with five-year imprisonment for anti-state propaganda under Article 88 of the Criminal Code. He was granted an amnesty on April 12.

Mr. Hoi, a former head of the communist party’s school in Huu Lung district in Lang Son province, started writing to criticize the ruling communist party in 2006. He also accused Vietnam’s government of conducting compromises with China over border issues, asking more democracy for the country as well as calling for tougher moves against corruption.

He is a member of the 8406 bloc. In 2009, he was honored with Hellman/Hammett prize of the Human Rights Watch for his contribution to promoting freedom of expression.

For further reading:

Vi Duc Hoi

IT Master Nguyen Tien Trung was freed

On April 12, IT master Nguyen Tien Trung was released. Born in 1983, Trung found Democratic Youth Forum.

In January 2010, Trung was jailed for seven years under imprisonment and three years of house arrest for attempt to overthrow the people’s government, according to Article 79 of the Criminal Code.

For further reading:

Nguyen Tien Trung

Concern over health condition of political prisonder Ngo Hao

Ngo Minh Tam, the oldest son of political prisoner Ngo Hao informed that his father’s health condition is very bad. His father couldn’t eat prison’s food.

He expressed his hope that humn rights bodies and social activists to press Vietnam’s government, demanding it to allow him taking proper medical treatment. He said he don’t want his father to have the same fate with Mr. Dinh Dang Dinh.

Mr. Ngo Hao was sentenced with 15 years in prison and five years under house arrest for his peaceful political actities.

For further reading

Ngo Hao

Báo động về tình trạng sức khỏe của TNLT Ngô Hào

**********April 13***********

Former prisoner of conscience Dinh Nhat Uy sent a open letter calling for support in his appeal slated on April 16.

The letter was sent to domestic and international human rights.

“I hope people to attend the appeal or watch it closely because it is a picture of Vietnam’s human rights situation.”

For further reading:

Dinh Nhat Uy

Thư ngỏ của Cựu TNLT Đinh Nhật Uy về phiên tòa phúc thẩm 16/4/2014

Vietnam police detain Huyen Trang, a reporter of VRNs and banning from going abroad

At 9.30 pm on April 13, VRNs reporter Huyen Trang was detained by security force in the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, not allowing her taking an international flight without giving any reasonable motivation. At 11.30 pm, three plain clothed agents beat her under witness of many people.

For further reading

Nhà cầm quyền cấm xuất cảnh và câu lưu phóng viên Anna Huyền Trang, VRNs

Thêm một công dân bị cấm xuất cảnh không lý do

Summary by Chau Van Thi,

[rollinglinks]Vu Quoc Ngu[/rollinglinks]’s English translation.