April 28, 2014
Apr 21 – Apr 27, 2014 Defenders’ Weekly: Authorities officially questions Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience
************Apri 22, 2014 ************
Two members of Vietnamese Women for Human Rights ( VNWHR) were detained and beaten in Can Tho City
On April 22nd, 2014, two representatives of VNWHR – Ms. Tran Thi Hai and Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Lua, after attending the appellate court of two female land petitioners in Can Tho, were surrounded by dozens of policemen, arrested and beaten for seven hours. At 22:30 pm in the same day, they were released.
Ms. Tran Thi Hai is a long-standing petitioner fighting for land ownership and also used to participate in protests against China. Being arrested in December 2012, she was sentenced to nine months in prison for these activities and released on September 17, 2013.
Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Lua is the daughter of prisoner of conscience Nguyen Van Lia. Mr. Lia is, one of Hoa Hao Buddhist leaders, still serving his sentence in Xuan Loc prison, Dong Nai Province.
European Parliament asked to stipulate Human Rights in EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement
On April 17th, the European Parliament passed a Resolution recommending the European Commission to mention human rights concerns in EU’s negotiation of Free Trade Agreement ( FTA ) with Vietnam.
The Resolution called the European Commission to take Human rights improvement in Vietnam as preconditions in FTA, in particular freedom of speech, of information and of religion.
************Apr 25, 2014 ************
Police used violence for land seizure at Duong Noi
Around 17 pm on April 22nd, 2014, policemen coerced 19 households at Duong Noi to abandon their land and arrest four people, including one person bleeding to faint at the time.
At 6 am on April 26th, more than 1,000 police, traffic police and soldiers were setting up barricades to completely isolate Duong Noi petitioners inside. Around 8.30 am, police began to attack them. Many were severely beaten to injury and needed emergency service.
Before a large number of aggressive police forces, all these farmers were detained and taken to the police station of Ha Dong ward.
It is said that on March 26th two Duong Noi petitioners – Tran Van Sanh and Tran Van Mien – were taken away by police. And later police reported that they committed suicide in police station. But when many petitioners came to request an explanation about their situations, police refused to explain. And now no one knows more about them.
Presentation of Cao Daiist church’s religious Representatives on human rights and religious freedom in Vietnam
Mr. Duong Xuan Luong, a Cao Daiist disciple and also a former prisoner of conscience, has written a statement on human rights and religious freedom for all Caodaiists in Vietnam to Human rights organizations all over the world.
The presentation confirmed that Human rights have been being trampled upon and the Vietnam authorities have not ever respected religious freedom in accordance with law.
Nguyen Dinh Kha has been traumatized and on hunger strike in Xuyen Moc prison
After the visit to prisoner of conscience Dinh Nguyen Kha on April 25th, 2014 in K3, Xuyen Moc prison, his family informed that jailers have traumatized him. They did not let him receive books, food and necessary things provided by his family. Also, he has been forbidden to go out of his cell.
Because of protecting his legitimate rights, Kha has been on hunger strike to protest against the illegal acts of jailers.
************Apr 26, 2014 ************
The standpoint of Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience (FVPOC) after two official interrogation sessions with the Vietnam Government.
On April 24th, 2014, the Authorities summoned Pham Ba Hai for interrogation on the activities related to FVPOC.
As a coordinator of FVPOC, Mr. Pham Ba Hai exchanged ideas and answered all questions concerned, including its point of view and methods in campaigning for human rights improvement, carrying out humanitarian assistance and calling for the release of prisoners of conscience by peaceful means.
FVPOC confirmed its developments and stance as below:
1 . FVPOC was not founded by any single individual or any organization.
2 . It committed not to use violent means to achieve its cause.
3 . It has committed to struggle for a Vietnam where there are no prisoners of conscience
4 . We continue to maintain monthly meeting of civil society organizations (CSO). FVPOC calls all individuals, groups, organizations to participate and share ideas and raise their own cases so that we all can find the best way to request the authorities to listen, change and solve them.
5 . The authorities’ summons to or contact with relatives of dissidents in order to pressure them to prevent dissents’ activities is contradictory with the commitments that Vietnam made at the UN Human Rights Council.
6 . It urges the authorities should legalize FVPOC and other CSOs by a simple and feasible procedure, facilitate these CSOs’ operation so that they can contribute to a more democratic society where people can exercise their fundamental rights joyfully
7 . It continues to campaign for setting up a regular human rights dialogue with the government.
Summary by Chau Van Thi,
Translation by [rollinglinks]Huynh Thuc Vy[/rollinglinks]