June 22-29 Defender’s Weekly: Prisoner of Conscience Do Thi Minh Hanh released



Defend the Defenders | 30/6/2014

Defenders’ Weekly

[themify_box style=”green info rounded” ]One important news during the week is the release of prisoner of conscience Do Thi Minh Hanh after she spent four years and four months in jail. Her release was result of a diplomatic campaign of the Boat People SOS (BPSOS). The U.S. State Department ranked Vietnam the second on human trafficking in the world. The department said Hanoi needs to put efforts to prevent state-owned and private companies are sending workers abroad but fail to ensure their interests. The Committee for Justice and Peace under the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam planned to organize an exhibition on Vietnam’s sovereignty in the East Sea, however, their plan was suspended by local authorities under the reason that the issue is sensitive. Many householders in Quang Binh province’s Le Thuy district were forced to sell their dogs to contribute to a fund which is set for financing the building of local rural transport system as the authorities asked. The appeal court in Danang upheld a two-year imprisonment for prominent blogger Truong Duy Nhat. The hearing lasted few hours. Blogger Nhat’s lawyer was threatened to be expelled out of the courtroom if he insisted to name 12 articles of his client. One Vietnamese Australian and a Nigerian were proved guilty of selling drug and sentenced to death. And many other interesting news.[/themify_box]



Vietnam still ranked the second in the world on human trafficking

According to the recent report of the U.S. State Department, Vietnam was listed the second in the world on human trafficking in 2014.

The annual report said the Vietnamese government has efforts to deal with human tracking, but it needs to do in order to prevent state-owned and private companies from sending local workers abroad without ensuring their interests and safety.

RFAViệt Nam vẫn ở bậc 2 về nạn buôn người trên thế giới

Radio Chân Trời MớiTình trạng buôn người ở Việt Nam vẫn đứng thứ 2 trên thế giới


Exhibition on Vietnam’s sovereignty in East Sea suspended

The Committee for Justice and Peace under the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam planned to organize an exhibition on Vietnam’s sovereignty on the East Sea in the conference’s office on June 19-22. However, few hours prior to the opening, the exhibition was suspended by Ho Chi Minh City’s authorities.

Father Nguyen Thai Hop said in an interview that the city’s authorities did not want the exhibition to be held by a religious organization due to sensitive reason.

Radio Chân trời mới:Triển lãm chủ quyền Biển Đông bị ngăn cản

Ncr Online: Vietnam bans church exhibit of national maritime territory


Members of the U.S.’s Senate and House of Representatives concerned about Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh

Many U.S. legislators demanded Vietnam’s government to immediately release Pastor Chinh.

Florida-based Republican Senator Marco Rubio raised a case of Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh at a hearing for promoting new U.S. ambassador to Vietnam. Earlier, House Representative Bill Posey (Republican from Florida) sent a letter to Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to ask for releasing of Pastor Chinh.

This is a result of a campaign named A campaign for release of Vietnamese prisoners of conscience. The campaign began with activities aiming to protect prisoners of conscience of the Boat People SOS in 2008. The campaign was officially publicized in 2013 after five years of operation, on an occasion of the visit of President Truong Tan Sang to Washington.

Defend the Defenders: Tù nhân lương tâm Việt Nam được quốc hội Hoa Kỳ quan tâm


The situation of boat people in Australia unstable

On June 21, around 600 Vietnamese, Pakistani, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar boat people staying in Australia organized a protest in a sport field of Yongah Hill detention facility in Pearth city.

Mr. Toan, one Vietnamese boat people held in the facility said that the reason for the protest is that the Australian Immigration Department has been keeping the boat people coming from Vietnam and other countries for long period without policies. “We want to tell the Australian government that we are still young and can contribute to the country. They should not keep us in the detention facility any more,” said Toan.

RFASố phận của các thuyền nhân tầm trú tại Úc vẫn bấp bênh


The race for Democracy and Human Rights in Vietnam

President of the Boat People SOS Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang said the second half of this year will be big race for democracy and human rights in Vietnam. He said that the gold chance is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The campaign aims to prevent Vietnam’s participation in the pact if the communist government in Hanoi has no specific actions to improve its human rights record and enhance democracy. He said he will urge the U.S. Congress to raise presentation of the country in the East Sea by promoting Resolution S. Res. 412 for the sea, and H.R. 772 bill which aims to promote peaceful and collaborative resolution of the East Sea dispute as well as the U.S. rebalancing in Asia-Pacific.

Mạch sống: Dân Chủ và Nhân Quyền Cho Việt Nam: Cuộc Chạy Nước Rút


Human rights bodies concerned about recommendations rejected by Vietnam at the Universal Periodic Review

International and domestic human rights bodies said that these recommendations accepted by Vietnam’s government are in those fields with no sensitive fields such as women rights, children rights and improvement of livelihood toward UN’s Millennium while Hanoi rejected specific recommendations which aim to raise basic human rights and ensure political rights to citizens.

Vietnam rejected the recommendations in these fields on which the international community has been concerned, including situation of prisoners of conscience, establishment of human rights organizations according to Paris Principles, the amendments of Articles 258, 79 and 88 in the Criminal Code which is often applied to silence government critics and peaceful political dissidents, or invitation of special reporters of the UN and independent experts on human rights to the country.

The Human Rights Watch said the rejection triggered doubts among foreign observers over Hanoi’s commitments to respect human rights.

VOA: Giới bảo vệ nhân quyền quan ngại về các khuyến nghị bị VN bác bỏ ở UPR

VOA: Rights Advocates Criticize Vietnam on UPR Rejections


Many householders in the central province of Quang Binh were forced to sell dogs to contribute to local fund for building transport roads

In order to realize the goal to build a 7-kilometer rural transport network, the leadership of Phong Thuy commune in Le Thuy district demanded householders to contribute between VND3 million and VND11 million each for the road construction. The communes has numerous poor householders who have no money to make contributions. Some of them have been forced to write debts to local authorities, other have to borrow money from the local fund for social affairs. Especially, many householders have been forced to sell their dogs.

On June 19, the People’s Committee of Le Thuy district fired Chairman Nguyen Cao Coi of the Phong Thuy municipal People’s Committee. Mr. Coi was accused of conducting bad management allowed a contractor to steal cement and other materials for road construction. Coi is the local leader ordering people to contribute for the road building.

Một thế giới: Nhiều hộ dân phải bán chó để đóng tiền làm đường


Vietnamese women sold to China for brides

Due to sex imbalance in China, many Chinese males could not marry local women. As a result, many women in neighbor countries such as Vietnam, North Korea, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia have been trafficked in China to meet local demand of brides.

Many Vietnamese women have been cheated and sold to China. Initially, they were lured with new jobs, making friends with strangers and then were being cheated by human traffickers. Prices of brides varies and may reach VND100 million ($5,000) each. In some cases, Vietnamese women were cheated by their relatives.

AFP: Brides for sale: Vietnamese women trafficked to China


Chinese oilrig makes Vietnam closer to the U.S.

Vietnam has sought to be closer with the U.S. in a bid to deal with the Chinese expansionism. Since normalization in 1995, Vietnam and the U.S. have expanded trade relation. The bilateral trade agreement signed in 2001 helped the two nations raise their two-way trade to $1.5 billion in the same year and $29 billion in 2013. Currently, Vietnam is negotiating for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is part of the U.S.’s rebalancing policy to Asia in the 21st century.

Washington Times: Chinese oil expansion has Vietnam seeking American partnership

CSIS: A New Era in U.S.-Vietnam Relations


Two More Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience Adopted by U.S.’s legislators

The office of Member of U.S. House of Representatives Alan Lowenthal (Democrat, California) just informed that the American lawmaker officially adopted Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh, who is serving his 11-year imprisonment in Vietnam.

Pastor Chinh’ case was raise by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (Republican, Florida) at a hearing on June 17 for promoting new ambassador to Vietnam. On May 29, Member of  U.S. House of Representatives Bill Posey (Republican, Florida) sent a letter to Vietnamese  Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to ask for unconditional release of Pastor Chinh. One month earlier, Mr. Lowenthal also sent a letter to PM Dung with a similar purpose.

Mạch sống: Thêm 2 Tù Nhân Lương Tâm Việt Nam Được DB Hoa Kỳ “Đỡ Đầu”


The appeal hearing of blogger Truong Duy Nhat was held in 1 hour and 15 minutes

The appeal hearing of blogger Truong Duy Nhat was held in the Danang-based Supreme Court on June 26. The hearing started on 8.30 am and finished 75 minutes later, without much debate. The prominent blogger was upheld with a two-year imprisonment.

Mr. Nhat’s lawyer Tran Vu Hai said that the court did not allow him and his client to discuss on detail of 12 articles written by the blogger which the prosecution used to accuse him. The judge warned that if he continued to talk about the articles, he will be expelled out of the courtroom. The prosecution will lose if the fairness was being implemented, Mr. Hai added.

Blog Quê choa: Phiên phúc thẩm vụ án Trương Duy Nhất xử nhanh như chớp- Y án! 

AP: Vietnam upholds 2-year jail term against blogger

BBC: ‘Tòa ngăn luật sư và ông Nhất trình bày’

Báo tin tức: Y án 2 năm tù với Trương Duy Nhất


Resettling residents in Than Uyen and Tan Uyen hold protests 

Hundreds of ethnic minorities in resettling commune Huoi Quang- Ban Chat of Than Uyen and Tan Uyen districts in the northern province of Lai Chai gathered in government buildings of the districts and Project Management Unit of Huoi Quang-Ban Chat hydropower plant to file their denunciations about resettlement.

The gathering people threatened to hang up Phan Ba Quyet, chairman of Than Uyen district People’s Committee if the local authorities have no solution to settle disputes. They demanded the district to apply compensation and resettlement according to the government Decree 69/2009.

Nông Nghiệp Việt Nam: Người dân vùng tái định cư “đại náo” huyện Than Uyên và Tân Uyên


Prisoner of Conscience Do Thi Minh Hanh released after spending 52-month jail

Ms. Do Thi Minh Hanh was arrested in February 2010 with an accusation of leafleting in support of striking footwear workers in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh, together with Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung and Doan Huy Chuong.

On Oct 27, the court sentenced Hanh with seven-year imprisonment for “conducting social disorders aiming to undermine the people’s government” according to Article 89 of the Criminal Code. Her co-partners Hung was given 9 years imprisonment and Chuong with a seven-year jail. The appeal hearing on March 18, 2011 upheld their sentences.

Ms. Hanh was transferred in prisons in Tra Vinh, Long An, Binh Thuan and Dong Nai, and finally she was kept in Hanoi-based Thanh Xuan detention facility.

RFA: Tù nhân lương tâm Đỗ Thị Minh Hạnh được trả tự do 


Mạch sống: Đỗ Thị Minh Hạnh được tự do: Niềm vui và những bước kế tiếp

RFA: Vietnamese Labor Activist Jailed For Backing Strikes is Freed 

BBC: Nhà hoạt động công đoàn được thả



A Vietnamese Australian sentenced to death

Pham Trung Dung, a 37-year Vietnamese Australian, was found guilty to illegally transfer 3.4 kilograms of heroin out of Vietnam last year and was sentenced to capital punishment. He was arrested in Tan Son Nhat international airport on May 5 when he planned to flight to Sydney. Vietnam’s state-run media reported that the customs found the heroin in his two suitcases.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that Australia is trying to assist Mr. Dung via diplomatic channels.

Vietnam has been condemned by international community for imposing death sentences. As many as 678 prisoners are waiting for their execution at the end of 2013.

BBCViệt kiều Úc bị kết án tử hình

Australian Associated Press: Australian man sentenced to death in Vietnam for heroin trafficking


A Nigerian received capital punishment

The People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City on June 27 gave the capital punishment for one Nigerian and imprisonments between 15 years and 20 years for four other foreigners for organizing illegal trade of drugs.

Nnaji David Ete, 33, was found to lead a drug ring which consists of his wife, one Vietnamese and four foreigners.

Earlier, Michael Ikenna Nduanya, a 34-year Nigerian, was also sentenced to death after he was found guilty of smuggling drug from Cambodia into Vietnam.

Vietnam’s law imposes the capital punishment for everyone who posses over 600 gram of heroin or 20 kilogram of opium.

Last year, Vietnam’s National Assembly approved a law allowing the use of toxic injection instead of firing. Some death sentences were implemented on June 1.

African Outlook Nigerian sentenced to death in Vietnam for drug trafficking


Driver beaten to death after being checked by traffic policemen for alcohol concentration

On the evening of June 25, Nguyen Van Chin were beaten seriously by a group of strangers after his motorbike was held by traffic policemen. He died after being taken to a hospital.

Witnesses said that on the evening, Mr. Chinch ride a 125-cubic motorbike and was stopped by traffic policemen, who held his bike without giving him a report document, so he objected. Few minutes later, a group of strangers came and asked him to go with them for taking a report. On the mid way, the mobs started to beat him unconscious. When he waked up, he phoned his brother and took a taxi to Thong Nhat hospital.

He was brought to emergency but died after few hours. According to autopsy, he was with serious internal damages.

Recently, a number of Vietnamese people were beaten to death by policemen and associated thugs. Several years ago, Mr. Trinh Xuan Tung was beaten to death by police officer in Hanoi when he was heading to a bus station. After his death, his daughter set up a campaign “Stop Police killing civilians.”

Thanh NiênBị đánh chết sau khi CSGT đo nồng độ cồn

Summary by Nguyen Thanh Thuy

Translation by [rollinglinks]Vu Quoc Ngu[/rollinglinks]