July 14-20 Defender’s Weekly: Facebook Battles

Defenders-weekly 21

Defend the Defenders | 21/7/2014

Defenders’ Weekly

[themify_box style=”green info rounded” ]During the week, a number of political dissidents and social activists claim that their Facebook accounts have been abuse reported and they struggled to take back. Abuse reports have been occurred in authoritarian countries where governments maintain large online armies to deal with government criticisms. Three Vietnamese youth delegates have been prevented from going abroad to attend international youth conference in Australia, with security reasons, local authorities said. A four-member group planning a plot to attack late communist leader Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum lost their appeal on July 16. Earlier, Mr. Nguyen Doan Kien, Vu Hong To and Nguyen Van Kiem were sentenced to 5 years imprisonment while Trinh Minh Khanh was put under four-year jail. There are many interesting stories on human rights during the week.[/themify_box]


Vietnamese students barred from attending Australia Youth Conference

Three Vietnamese students have been kept in Tan Son Nhat international airport by local security forces when they were trying to take a fight to Australia to attend an Australian Youth Conference which is held in Melbourne on July 10-13. The Vietnamese authorities explained that the students are held for security reasons without revealing more details.

The Australian Youth Conference themed “Vietnam Youths Unify” was held in Melbourne on July 10-13, with participation of 200 young Vietnamese all over the world. The event was organized by Australia’s Vietnam Student Association  and the Vietnam Youth Network.

The event aims to present young Vietnamese overseas about the real situations in their country of origin, and seek their support for the democratic activities of youth people in Vietnam.

RFA: Sinh viên Việt Nam bị cấm tham dự Đại hội Thanh Niên Úc Châu 


U.S. Congressmen object TPP negotiation, expressing concerns about laborers’ rights

In the morning of July 9, at U.S. Congress, a group of five Democratic congressmen launched a press conference in front of the Capitol to object current TPP negotiations, including concerns about worker’s rights, fast track authority, trade imbalance and LGBT and women’s rights.

The legislators were concerned about human rights, especially rights of laborers in Vietnam, one of 12 countries negotiating for the pact.

During the press conference, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez stated that “It has been eight years since Vietnam was permitted to join the World Trade Organization and granted Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status – and yet the human rights situation in Vietnam has not improved. Currently, the people of Vietnam are forced to work in abysmal conditions and live in slums and unsanitary housing.  They work 12 to 15 hours per day and get paid $70 per month on average—and many times they do not get paid at all. They have no health insurance and essentially have no rights at work. Since 1995, there have been close to 5,000 worker strikes. Meanwhile, the Department of Labor lists Vietnam as one of just four countries where there is reason to believe that garments may have been produced by forced or indentured child labor.”

Defend the Defenders: Phản đối TPP, nếu không bảo đảm được quyền của người lao động


U.S. President Special Representative visits Vietnam

Evan Medeiros, special representative of U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Hanoi on July 14 to discuss with Vietnamese leaders on Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations and East Sea issues.

According to Vietnam’s government, he worked with Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Foreign Affairs on the issues.

Người Việt: Đại diện Tổng thống Mỹ tới Hà Nội 


Facebook battles

In recent days, dozens of Vietnamese political dissidents and social activists have claimed that they couldn’t log in their Facebook accounts due to abuse reports by pro-government online people.

Many popular social websites, including that of pro-democracy Viet Tan group, were attacked by hackers.

Among suffering people are famous bloggers Me Nam, Co gai Do Long, Nguyen Quang Lap and Nguyen Lan Thang.

RFA: Cuộc chiến Facebook

Con đường Việt Nam: Tuyên bố của Con Đường Việt Nam về hiện tượng đánh phá tài khoản Facebook của các nhà hoạt động xã hội 

Change: Stop shutting down dissidents facebook pages based on fake reports from cyber trolls paid by Vietnamese government.

Defend the Defenders: Vietnam Pro-government Abuse Reports Lock Activists out of Facebook

Global Voice: Vietnamese Government ‘Opinion Shapers’ Target Activist Facebook Pages 

Dân làm báo: Vietnamese Communist Government harassing its citizens for using Facebook 

Dân làm báo: Nhà nước Việt Nam tiếp tục quấy rối, đàn áp người dân sử dụng Facebook 


Delegation of Hoa Hao Buddhist from visiting former political prisoner Do Thi Minh Hanh despite threat of police

In the morning of July 15, a delegation of Hoa Hao Buddhist visited former political prisoner Do Thi Minh Hanh in her private house in Di Linh commune in Lam Dong province. The delegation consists of senior religious clerks from provinces of An Giang, Dong Thap and Vinh Long as well as independent journalist Truong Minh Duc and member of the Vietnam Human Rights Women Association Nguyen Thi Ngoc Lua.

According to Mr. Le Van Soc, the organizer of the trip, local police threatened the delegation prior to the trip. On the evening of July 14, Vinh Long province’s security forces led by Major Quang met Mr. Soc to persuade him and other delegates not to visit Ms. Hanh.

Police did not allow some people to join the delegation, Soc informed.

Defend the Defenders: Công an ngăn cản phái đoàn Phật Giáo Hòa Hảo Thuần Túy viếng thăm cựu tù nhân lương tâm Đổ Thị Minh Hạnh


Vietnam urged to conduct political and economical reforms

A number of Vietnamese intellectuals worldwide will gather in French Toulouse on July 31-August 1 to discuss the current issues of the country. Dr. Le Dang Doanh, former adviser of the Vietnamese prime minister, will attend the event and present proposal on reforms.

Dr. Doanh said Vietnam’s government has committed to conduct political and economical reforms, however, the country’s institutional reforms are still modest while the economic reforms are deeper. As a result, corruption has become more systematic while interest group develop fast. Strong institutional reforms will help the country decrease reliance on China and develop economy faster, he said.

Radio Chân Trời Mới: Tiến sĩ Lê Đăng Doanh: Phải song hành cải cách chính trị và cải cách kinh tế 


Asking U.S. Congress to act for Vietnam’s human rights

Vietnamese in the U.S. on July 16 held a Day for the Human Rights of Fellow Vietnamese, For Vietnam’s Territorial Integrity aiming to persuade American House Representatives and Senators to approve Vietnam’s candidacy for TPP providing Hanoi respects human rights, and pass some important resolutions on human rights and East Sea issues.

RFI: Vận động Quốc hội Mỹ vì nhân quyền Việt Nam

RFA: Vận động Nhân quyền và toàn vẹn lãnh thổ cho Việt Nam

Mạch sống: Tổng Vận Động Quốc Hội Hoa Kỳ


International campaign to demand Hanoi to release AnhBaSam Nguyen Huu Vinh

During July 5-10, human rights activists Le Quoc Tuan, Tran Quynh Chi and Doan Trang arrived in Washington DC to promote human rights activities. Specifically, they voiced to demand Vietnam’s government to release human rights activists, including blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh (aka AnhBaSam) and land rights activist Bui Thi Minh Hang.

The trio met senior officials of the State Department, human rights bodies such as Freedom House, World Movement for Democracy and Open Tech Fund.

Dân Luận: Vận động quốc tế cho Anh Ba Sàm và bảo vệ Facebook

RFI: Phạm Đoan Trang: “Xin đừng quên blogger anh Ba Sàm Nguyễn Hữu Vinh”


Vietnam needs new leadership for conducting reforms: UK outgoing ambassador

Out-going UK Ambassador to Vietnam Dr. Antony Stoke said the communist country needs new leaders to carry out reforms.

He said during his term in Vietnam, he promoted the two countries’ strategic partnership, with the visit of communist leader Nguyen Phu Trong to London.

At an interview with BBC, Ambassador Stoke said media, trade and human rights remain challenges for the two countries’ ties. Vietnam’s government has a duty to explain the countries’ issues with people and it is a difficult challenge for the authoritarian regime.

BBC: ‘Để cải cách cần kiểu lãnh đạo khác’


Upheld heavy sentences for four men planning a plot to destroy Ho Chi Minh mausoleum

The People’s Court in Hanoi on Jul 16 upheld heavy sentences for Mr. Nguyen Doan Kien, Vu Hong To,  Nguyen Van Kiem and Trinh Minh Khanh who planned a plot to destroyed the mausoleum of communist dictator Ho Chi Minh.

Earlier in March, the four men were accused of conducting social disorders under Article 245 of the Criminal Code. Kien, To and Kiem will have to spend next five years in prison while Khanh will be jailed for four years.

The four men were arrested on Feb. 3 after attacking the mausoleum with simple equipment. Their symbolic act was conducted on the 84th anniversary of the ruling communist party.

Dân làm báo: Bốn người tấn công lăng Ba Đình bị kết án nặng nề 


Danang leaders knock down 80-year victim of injustice

In the morning of July 17, at the Government Inspectorate Office in Hanoi, Nguyen Van Toan, chairman of the People’s Committee in Hoa Xuan commune in Danang city, and Mr. Tuyen, head of Danang city’s Inspectorate, knocked down Nguyen Thi Tho, 80 years, one of victims of injustice from Con Dau parish. Ms. Tho fell in unconscious and was taken to Ha Dong hospital.

During a meeting on the same day, Danang city’s representatives and officials of the Government Inspectorate affirmed that they will not resolve requests of Con Dau residents to provide land for their settlement. Their decision disappointed Con Dau residents. Many victims protested the decision while others, including Ms. Tho begged the officials. Ms. Tho catched arms of Mr. Toan and Mr. Tuyen, who knocked down her while trying to avoid the crowd.

The two officials of Danang ignored and walked away while other victims took care for the falling old Tho.

VRNs: Lãnh đạo Đà Nẵng hất ngã cụ bà Nguyễn Thị Thọ, dân oan Cồn Dầu


The Association of Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience welcomes new members Bui Minh Quoc, Le Thi Kim Thu

In July, poet Bui Minh Quoc and land rights activist Le Thi Kim Thu agreed to join the Association of Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience.  With the new two members, the association has total 89 members.

Mr. Quoc is a poet, journalist and member of the Vietnam Writers Association. He was vice chairman of the Vietnam Association of Writers and Artists, chief editor of Dat Quang journal and the founder and first president of Lam Dong province’s Association of Writers and Artists. Quoc is vice chairman of the newly-established Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam.

Ms. Thu is among numerous victims of injustices in Vietnam. She has sought justice for her family’s land which has been illegally grabbed by local authorities for 20 years. She was arrested in August, 2008 when conducted a protest against land grabbing in Hanoi. She was accused of conducting social disorder and was imprisoned for 18 months.

CTNLT: Hội Cựu tù nhân lương tâm chào đón 2 thành viên mới Bùi Minh Quốc và Lê Thị Kim Thu 

Summary by Nguyen Thanh Thuy

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