September 15, 2014
Sep 8 – Sep 14, 2014 Defender’s Weekly: Political Activist Nguyen Xuan Nghia Completes His Six-year Imprisonment
Defend the Defenders | 15/9/2014
On Sept 11, writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia, a member of the political opposition group 8406 completed his six-year imprisonment under charge of “conducting propaganda against the state” according to Article 88 of the Criminal Code. However, he will have to be under a three-year probation period or house arrest which bans him from going out of his home area.
Mr. Truong Minh Duc, a former political prisoner, was beaten by mobs when he was in a taxi with former prisoner of conscience Do Thi Minh Hanh and two social activists Truong Van Dung and Tran Thi Nga in the capital city of Hanoi.
Mrs. Bui Thi Minh Hang, Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh and Nguyen Van Minh have filled appeal to challenge their sentences given by the Dong Thap provincial People Committee in its hearing on Aug 26.
HCM City Authorities Strives to Halt Seminar on Vietnam’s UPR
On Sept 5, the Ho Chi Minh City-based Redemptory’s Church hosted a seminar which aimed to announce results of the Universal Periodic Review of Vietnam in 2014, with four main speakers Dr. Nguyen Quang A, Mr. Pham Le Vuong Cac, Mr. Bui Tuan Lam and Mr. Tran Van Huynh, father of political prisoner Tran Huynh Duy Thuc.
Swiss Ambassador Andrei Motyl to Vietnam and U.S. General Consul representative Charles Sellers joined nearly 50 domestic delegates to attend the event.
Dr. A said the organizers were forced to move the seminar to the church after New World hotel was forced by local police to break the contract to host the event.
Many social activists were barred by local security agents from taking part in the event, he informed.
Thua Thien-Hue Delegation of Vietnamese United Buddhists Church Protests Vietnam’s Violations of Religious Freedom
The Delegation of Vietnamese United Buddhists Church in Thua Thien Hue on Sept 7 issued a statement to protest a plan of District 2 in Ho Chi Minh City to demolish Lien Tri Pagoda as well as sentencing social activists Bui Thi Minh Hang, Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh and Nguyen Van Minh with heavy imprisonments.
In its statement, the delegation expressed its support for the Delegation of Vietnamese United Buddhists Church and condemned the communist government plan to remove Lien Tri Pagoda, saying the pagoda demolition will violate the country’s rights of religious freedom which is enshrined in the constitution.
The jail sentences imposed over the three social activists are clear examples of the country’s violations of freedom of expression, it noted.
Former Political Prisoner Truong Minh Duc Beaten in Hanoi
Mr. Truong Minh Duc, a former political prisoner, was beaten by mobs when he travelled by taxi with ex-prisoner of conscience Do Thi Minh Hanh and two social activists Truong Van Dung and Tran Thi Nga in the capital city of Hanoi on Sept 9.
The attackers severely beat him and themselves introduced that they are security agents.
They robbed his cell phone and Mr. Duc was hospitalized with a number of injuries.
In recent months, there have been a number of cases on which Vietnamese security agents under plain cloth attacked social activists. Mr. Nga was attacked on May 20, Mr. Dung was beaten on March 22, Mr. Trinh Anh Tuan and Mr. Nguyen Bac Truyen were beaten on Feb. 22 and Feb. 24, respectively.
In some cases, attackers arrogantly affirmed that they are policemen while in other cases, the victims recognized some of the mobs as security agents assigned to follow the victims.
Vietnam NA Standing Committee Discusses on Rights to Do Business
On Sept 9, speaking at a meeting of the National Assembly (NA)’s Standing Committee on amendments of the Investment Law, NA’s Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said that the Investment Law should not limit citizens’ rights to carry out their businesses.
The amended Investment Law should represent drastic reform which will help the country to raise its competitiveness, Chairman Hung said.
During the meeting, the committee raised their concerns about the government’s decrees in the past which limit residents’ rights to do business by issuing decrees.
Mr. Hung asked the government to review and dismiss improper conditions which limit citizens’ businesses.
39 Social Activists Sign Petition Protesting HCM City Harassment against Writer Pham Dinh Trong
As many as 39 famous social activists have signed a petition to condemn security forces in Ho Chi Minh City which detained and halted freedom movement of local writer Pham Dinh Trong.
The activists asked President Truong Tan Sang and Minister of Public Security General Tran Dai Quang to take proper measures to stop police violations of citizens’ rights and respect the Universal Convention on Human Rights on which Vietnam is a signatory.
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Open Letter of Vietnam Blogger Network on “We want to know” Campaign
On Sept 2, the Vietnam Blogger Network launched its campaign “We want to know” which fights to demand Vietnam’s government to publicize information related to the country’s future, and more important, to encourage citizens to overcome fear.
Considered itself as part of the joint social movement, the Vietnam Blogger Network calls on:
– All civil societies, human rights organizations to jointly voice and encourage people to spread the rights to know, one of the basic rights of citizens.
– Communist party members, military generals, and army officers who sent their petition to the ruling communist party and its government demanding to publicize the Vietnam-China secret agreement signed in Chengdu in 1990 and other agreements with China, to join the campaign.
– To propose initiatives for spreading the campaign among Vietnamese, and prepare for plans to disseminate “We want to know” to every citizen on the country’s crucial issues.
The Vietnam Blogger Network commits to be part of the movement.
Mạng Lưới Blogger Việt Nam xin được là một phần tử đồng hành để góp một bàn tay nhỏ bé trong phong trào chung này.
Mangluoiblogger: Thư ngỏ của MLBVN về Chiến dịch Chúng Tôi Muốn Biết
Activists Bui Thi Minh Hang, Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh and Nguyen Van Minh Fill Appeals against Unfair Sentences in Bogus Traffic Offenses
The sentences imposed over them by the Dong Thap provincial People’s Court on its hearing on Aug 26 were considered unfair so the defendants have filled their appeals to the higher court.
Mrs. Quynh Anh, a daughter of Mrs. Hang said her mother’s health is good and her mentality is strong. After the hearing, Hang, one of the most anti-China activists and land rights campaigners, restarted taking food. Hang conveyed her message to other activists that she will wisely fight for all people but not for herself only.
Mrs. Diem Thuy, wife of Mr. Minh informed that his health is good. He has eaten little since being arrested in February. He affirmed not to sign any documents as police ask although they badly treat him and use criminal prisoners to beat him. However, he stands firm, saying he is ready to die but not to confess for things he haven’t done.
Writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia Completes His Six-year Jail Sentence
On Sept 11, writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia, a member of the political opposition bloc 8406 completed his six-year imprisonment under charge of “conducting propaganda against the state” according to Article 88 of the Criminal Code. However, he will have to be under a three-year probation period or house arrest which bans him from going out of his home area.
He said he was put on solitary cell two times, three months each. The prison authorities put him in a four-square-meter cell without any information and banned from receiving donations from his family.
Receiving nothing from him by imposing solitary cell, Vietnam’s government transferred him in Nigh An province, where he shared a room with prominent political prisoner Nguyen Van Hai (aka Dieu Cay) and the duo worked together to protect inmates in the prison.
Mr. Hai held a 33-day hunger strike to protest the prison’s inhuman treatment after the prison’s authorities accepted the accusation of two people imprisoned for spying for China. The two spies accused that Mr. Hai conducted propaganda against the state.
Mr. Nghia said he and other prisoners in the facility knew well about Hai’s hunger strike from the first day to the final 33rd day. After Hai ended the strike, prison authorities filmed him when he took dinner and broadcast on television, saying Hai did not conduct any hunger strike. Vietnam’s state media is telling lies, he concluded.
During his spending in An Diem facility in Quang Nam province, he met Le Quoc Quan, a prominent democracy activist who is on his 30-month jail for fabricated tax evasion.
I Continues to Speak True
Writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia, who just completed his six-year imprisonment, said he continues to speak true- the Vietnamese government suppression against citizens, because it is the duty of one writer, he said.
He was arrested along with a number of political dissidents in September, 2008. In October next year he was sentenced to six years in jail and three years under house arrest for “conducting propaganda against state” according to Article 88 of the Criminal Code.
He said he rarely received information outside, and he was beaten by prison guards many times.
They sealed his mouth when he delivered information about Mr. Nguyen Van Hai’s hunger strike in the 25th day which aims to protest against prison’s solitary imprisonment.
“Mr. Hai was put in solitary cell without proper reasons, so I have a duty to inform public,” Mr. Nghia said, adding the conditions in solitary cell are very severe. Thanks to the public pressure, the prison’s authorities stopped inhumane treatment against the prominent dissident, Mr. Nghia noted.
Mr. Nghia participated in a number of anti-China protests in the 2007-2008 periods.
Before being arrested in 2008, Mr. Nghia filed a petition to Hanoi’s authorities asking for permission to hold protests to demand the government to apply measures to deal with high inflation and improve the national economy when the country suffered a hyper inflation of 23%.
Prisoner of Conscience Nguyen Dinh Cuong Nguyễn Đình Cương bị biệt giam và cùm chân
On Sept 9, the family of prisoner of conscience Nguyen Dinh Cuong informed that he is conducting a hunger strike for the 3rd day but is still disciplined and fettered.
Cuong was disciplined for objecting prison’s safeguards beating another prisoner.
Kim Chi, a younger sister of Cuong said the family received information about Cuong’s situation and came to the Nam Ha prison in Kim Bang district in Ha Nam province to meet him, but the prison’s authorities refused, saying he is disciplined for defaming the one-party regime.
Cuong was arrested on Dec 24, 2011 and was sentenced with four years in prison and three years under house arrest for “conducting activities attempting to overthrow the people’s government” according to Article 79 of the Criminal Code.
Blogger Pham Viet Dao Completes 15-month Jail
On Sept 13, writer and blogger Pham Viet Dao was released after completing his 15-month imprisonment which was for “abusing democracy and freedom” under Article 258 of Criminal Code.
According to the charges, Mr. Dao was accused of posting 91 articles in his three blogs to defame the communist party and the state, harming interest of the state and rights and interests of citizens.”
During the hearing, Mr. Dao admitted posting of these articles and asked for lenience.
Earlier, Mr. Dao apologized for posting some untrue articles, and said he did not aware that these article “affect the society,” the AFP news agency reported.
Summary by Nguyen Ngoc Anh
Translation by Vu Quoc Ngu