April 21, 2014
********April 14th, 2014 **********
Vietnamese Women for Human Rights (VNWHR) visited many families of the prisoners of conscience in the southwestern provinces
Last week VNWHR paid a visit offering gifts to the families of prisoners of conscience in Southwestern region.
The meaningful trip has proved mutual assistance and necessary connections among Vietnamese dissidents in the struggle for Human Rights and Democracy in the country. In the future, the group will hold such nationwide visits for enhancement of the connection among victims of the dictatorial regime.
Amnesty International: Several prisoners of conscience were released while dozens of others still being jailed
On April 14th, Amnesty International welcomed the Vietnam government releasing a few prisoners of conscience before their jail term would be ended. But the organization also emphasized there are at least 70 other prisoners still imprisoned for peacefully expressing their opinions. The report showed that prisoners of conscience were subjected to very harsh detention conditions, unfair verdicts, human rights abuses and the lack of health care in prisons.
Hoa Hao Buddhist followers held a human rights meeting in An Giang province
On April 14th, Hoa Hao Buddhists people at Hamlet of My Long 1, Long Giang district, An Giang Province organized a talk on Human Rights with over 30 attendees from the Southwestern Provinces. In particular, local officials and public security agents also attended the meeting.
It was said these Hoa Hao Buddhists do not belong to the state-run Hao Hoa Buddhist congregation. And the State also does not recognize the franchise of their religious organization and often persecuted the unrecognized congregation.
Ca Mau: a regiment of policemen was deployed to open fire on rebel prisoners
On April 14th, 2014, in the afternoon, hundreds of prison inmates at Jail K1-Cai Tau simultaneously resisted jailers for maltreating a fellow prisoner.
Jail Cai Tau located deeply in a forest full of mosquitoes, at Khanh An commune, U Minh district, Ca Mau province. It is notoriously a harsh prison where blogger Dieu Cay – Nguyen Van Hai used to be detained here and barred from using mosquito-net by jailers for revenge.
According to the newspaper Tuoi Tre, the conflict broke out in the afternoon of the 14th after an inmate had been disciplined because of allegedly “using cannabis in prison”.
Due to the uprising of hundreds of prisoners, prison guards had to request for assistance from Ca Mau Provincial authorities and Southwestern Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of the mobile police. Then, a regiment of police and local police forces have been mobilized to suppress Cai Tau prisoners.
After police setting fire, the insurrection was quickly stamped out early in the morning of the 15th. Now casualties of the crackdown are unknown.
**********April 15, 2014 **********
The son of writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia was banned from travelling abroad
One more case banned from leaving Vietnam, that is the son of prisoner of conscience Nguyen Xuan Nghia, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Thuy.
Thuy’s flight to Los Angeles was planned to depart at 11:55 am. At about 9 am, while he was fulfilling necessary procedures, airport security force stopped him, confiscated his passport and then just gave him a letter that was said to contain an explanation for the travel ban.
Writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia is currently detained at Detention Center An Diem, Dai Loc District, Quangnam Province. He was sentenced to six years in prison on charge of conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam under Article 88 of the Penal Code. In September, Mr. Nghia will finish his jail tem. But his health is deteriorating because he suffers from hemorrhoid, kidney stone and prostate cancer at the same time.
One more victim died while being detained at the police station
Mr. Do Van Binh (18) residing in Dai Hiep commune, Dai Loc district, Quang Nam Province have died in the pre-trial detention at Hoa Vang police station, Da Nang city. The body of the victim was returned to his family in the afternoon of 15th, April. Do Van Binh was accused of having captured unlawfully the son of a local official. On April 10th, he arrived at Hoa Vang police station to confess. But in the afternoon of the 14th, he was found dead.
Da Nang Forensic doctors have confirmed that the cause of his death was due to hanging, not police’s torture. But according to the victim’s family, through autopsy, they discovered his body having many bruises, including shoeprints. They intended to take photographs of these shoeprints, but not allowed by police. So they reconciled themselves to their son’s death and got his death body to home for being buried.
In the morning of 17th, Vietnamese Women for Human Rights visited for relieving Binh’s family and offerred them a gift.
***********April 16, 2014 **************
Court of Appeal upheld Dinh Nhat Uy’s sentence
April 16th, the appeal court of Long An Province started at 9 am, took place quickly and ended at 10 am. Uy’ sentence of one year and three months on probation would be upheld. Dinh Nhat Uy affirmed his point view that his words and action were for speaking out against social injustice and insisted on his innocence.
Dinh Nhat Uy was arrested in June, 2013 for sharing posts and comments on his facebook account about issues such as anti-China protests, Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands, and the arbitrary arrest of his brother Dinh Nguyen Kha. At the first instance court in October, 2013, Uy received the suspended sentence of one year and three months, and also subjected to another year on probation under Article 258 of the Penal code.
Security forces blocked and beat a UPR activist
Around 8.50 am on April 16th, while Mr. Bui Tuan Lam and his friend – Mr. Nguyen Duc Quoc – were on the way to visit a dissident- writer Huynh Ngoc Tuan, eight plain-clothed policemen blocked the road and requested them to come to the nearest police station for interrogating. They did not abide the request because these policemen did not show their police cards and wearing uniform. Immediately, the policemen used their helmets to beat them.
Then another group of policemen again followed them after Lam and Quoc getting in a bus. They even attacked Lam and Quoc on the bus.
After the incident, Mr. Lam said that “leaders of hooligan gangs are of Quangnam-Danang security forces”
*************April 17, 2014 ***************
Former Prisoner of Conscience claimed religious freedom for prisoners
Recently, former prisoner of conscience Mr.Chu Manh Son issued a notice of religious freedom for prison inmates. This notice has been signed for approval by fifteen priests from the Catholic diocese of Vinh and other dioceses.
Mr. Chu Manh Son said: “In prison, all prisoners are deprived of the right to religious freedom despite them having taken sentences or not”. This situation obviously showed violations of the Constitution and laws in Vietnam prisons.
***********April 18, 2014 ***************
Vietnamese activists went to USA to advocate for press freedom
Three activists including actress Kim Chi, Mr. Ngo Nhat Dang and Mr. Nguyen Dinh Ha arrived in the United States in the trip campaigning press freedom for Vietnam. A group of Vietnamese activists will participate in a series of events to discuss the challenges and at the same time make recommendations for starting up an independent journalism in Vietnam.
As scheduled, the delegation will have direct contacts with the officials of the State Department, the UN, U.S. Congressmen, and Representatives of Human Rights organizations and internet companies. The activists will also attend training courses on communication and internet security.
Besides these three activists having managed to arrive in America, a number of other activists were prevented from leaving Vietnam, including Dr. Pham Chi Dung, blogger Nguyen Lan Thang and Anna Huyen Trang – a reporter of Vietnamese Redemptorists’ News.
Vietnamese Unified Buddhist Congregation (VUBC) sent a protest letter to the Vietnam State
The leader of Buddhist families, Secretary General of Vien Hoa Dao – Mr. Le Cong Cau (VUBC) – has just sent a protest letter to the state leaders in Hanoi requested that the Vietnam government should play their right role as a member of United Nations Human Rights Council.
According to Mr. Cau, after 1975 VUBC became hostile force of the government. They no longer enjoyed religious freedom and other civil liberties. For himself, Mr. Cau has been repeatedly prevented, brutally harassed and arbitrarily requested to come to police stations for being interrogated. He is now put on probation by one only verbal order from police forces.
It is said that, this was the 12th time he sent such a protest letter to the government of Vietnam and he hopes it would be not disregarded by the authorities as it used to be.
Prisoners of conscience in Thai Nguyen were on hunger strike
According to the former prisoner of conscience Ho Van Oanh, prisoners Mr. Tran Huu Duc and Mr.Tran Minh Nhat have started their hunger strikes since April 18th to protest against injustice, defame and discrimination in Prison K3-Phu Son 4, Thai Nguyen province.
Ho Van Oanh, Tran Huu Duc and Tran Minh Nhat belonged to the group of 14 Catholic youths arrested in 2011 and convicted of conspiring for overthrowing the government.
Report on violation of religious freedom in Vietnam
In the first quarter of the year 2014: At least seven cases of violation of religious freedom.
Vietnam association for the protection of religious freedom has just released a report of the Vietnam Government infringing upon religious freedom in Quarter 1.
From January 1st to March 31st, 2014 there were at least seven cases in which Vietnam government has violated the right to religious freedom of the Vietnamese citizens in both personal and collective fields. In particular, the Hoa Hao Buddhists was systematically attacked.
*************April 19, 2014 ****************
Dr. Nguyen Dan Que was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and Gwangju Prize for Human Rights
Dr. Nguyen Dan Que, a prominent dissident in over two past decades, currently living in Saigon, was nominated for Nobel Prize peace and the Gwangju Prize by USA and Canadian lawmakers, and non-governmental organizations.
In spite of their different activity fields, lawmakers in U.S. and Canada, as well as AAI had a same conclusion that for long Dr. Que has been a courageous and tenacious activist, struggling for peace, justice, democracy and human rights. So he completely deserves to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In addition, this year Dr. Nguyen Dan Que is also was nominated for Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Laureates by Committee on Human Rights (of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. ) and Vietnam Human Rights Network. Gwangju Prize is a prestigious Human Rights award given by the South Korean May 18 Memorial Foundation to commemorate victims, mainly students massacred in the 1980 demonstration for Democracy by the despot Chun Doo-hwan.
Police crushed a Human Rights meeting and assaulted attendees
The third Human Rights meeting was scheduled to begin in the morning of the 19th , at a coffee shop named Swing, in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa province by Network of Vietnamese Bloggers.The gathering was planned to take place with the subject “UN Convention Against Torture and the matter of police beating victims to death in police stations”. Being pressured by policemen, the owner of the coffee shop refused to welcome more customers even though the coffee shop was uncrowded.
The key participants are bloggers Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, Pham Van Hai, Nguyen Ho Nhat Thanh and Trinh Kim Tien, including the relatives of the victim Ngo Thanh Kieu who was beaten to death by five policemen.
While bloggers were on the way to the meeting site, many plain-clothed policemen suddenly blocked, beaten and forced them to Loc Tho police station.
These four bloggers continued to be beaten, deprived of their cellphones and ransacked all personal belongings there. Being questioned, they disobeyed policemen due to Nha Trang policemen’s human rights violating action.
Summary by Chau Van Thi,
Translation by [rollinglinks]Huynh Thuc Vy.[/rollinglinks]