Vietnam Human Rights Defender’s Weekly Oct 27-Nov 2: Activists Pham Ba Hai, Le Van Soc and Chu Manh Son Beaten by Mobs and Police Officers
Defend the Defenders | 3/11/2014
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On Oct 29, former prisoner of conscience Pham Ba Hai and Hoa Hao Buddhist follower Le Van Soc were beaten by mobs after visiting former political prisoner Duong Au in Duc Trong district in Lam Dong province.
One day later, Mr. Hai and Mr. Soc were detained and tortured by police in Vinh Airport while Mr. Chu Manh Son, who came to meet Hai and Soc, was attacked and outraged by police officers.
Nguyen Van Hai (aka Dieu Cay), who was freed recently and was forced to take a flight to the U.S., said he will challenge Vietnam’s government in international court for violations of international conventions and the country’s Constitution.
According to the final conclusion, on April 1, 2014, the General Department of National Security submitted its report to the Ministry of Public Security’s Investigation Agency on which it said internet subscriber Nguyen Huu Vinh “regularly posts online articles which may harm interests of the state, rights and legal interests of citizen.”
And many other interesting news
U.S. Urges Vietnam to Improve Human Rights
Vietnam has to do more to improve its human rights if it wants to boost economic and security cooperation with the U.S., said Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski after visiting the communist nation on Oct 22-26.
Speaking at a press conference in Hanoi on Oct 26, Mr. Malinowski said Vietnam should reform its laws to bring them in full compliance with the country’s Constitution and its international obligations.
“I made clear that we want to do more to deepen our relationship and we can do more on security cooperation and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).” “But we can do this if and only if there’s a multiple progress on human rights,” he added.
Mr. Malinowski arrived in Oct 21, on the same day Vietnam’s government released prominent blogger Nguyen Van Hai and forced him to take international flight to the U.S. without meeting and contracting his relatives.
Vietnam had released 12 prisoners of conscience this year, Malinowski noted. Hanoi should not use vaguely worded security laws to arrest people who peacefully express their views.
There would not be progress if a dozen people were released and then a dozen more people were arrested, he said.
The U.S. expects Vietnam to fundamentally reform the laws in order to fully comply with its Constitution and with its international obligations, he said.
During his meetings with Vietnamese government officials, the American senior diplomat explained that some articles of the country’s Criminal Code were not consistent with the nation’s obligations and that they “appear to target freedom of expression and association.”
The U.S. wants a much deeper and much more sustainable partnership with Vietnam, like its other closest allies in Asia, Europe and elsewhere, Malinowski affirmed.
However, Washington needs a solid foundation based on the two sides’ shared values, he said, adding that is the reason why the U.S. stresses the human rights issue so strongly.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Meets Former Political Prisoner Nguyen Xuan Nghia
During his visit to Vietnam on Oct 22-26, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski met some former political prisoners, including Mr. Nguyen Xuan Nghia, who completed his six-year imprisonment in September.
After the meeting in Hanoi on Oct 23 with Mr. Malinowski, Mr. Nghia unveiled the talks with foreign media. He said he proposed the U.S. to give more pressure on Vietnam and ask the communist country to further improve its human rights situation. Washington must be acknowledged that Hanoi has often forgot its promise after getting things it wants.
Mr. Nghia informed Malinowski that Vietnam has around 20 civil societies which are environment for democracy and human rights development. He asked the U.S. government to support them.
Blogger Dieu Cay: I will Challenge Vietnam to International Court
Blogger Nguyen Van Hai (aka Dieu Cay) said he will sue Vietnam’s government to international court for its violations to international conventions and the Vietnamese Constitution. The Vietnamese government had no evidence to accuse him but it continued to imprison him. So he was forced to go out of the country to bring the Vietnamese government to an international tribune.
He will realize his plan step by step. He will seek support from international organizations to for his cause which he believes that he will win.
He said he had a difficult choice as he wants to reunite with his family as well as wants to seek for justice. Many political prisoners and criminal inmates asked him to leave the country to voice about them, he said.
He was transferred to 11 prisons where he met numerous prisoners who want him to protect them.
Mr. Hai said he will call on international community to demand Vietnam to improve prisons’ conditions and treat imprisoned people in human ways.
Open Letter of Father Sent to Political Prisoner Who will Complete Imprisonment soon
Political prisoner Tran Huu Duc will complete his imprisonment on Nov 2, 2014. A week before Duc’s due ends, his father Mr. Giuse Tran Duc Truong sent Mr. Duc one letter. The letter is also for people who are fighting for freedom, justice and peace.
In his letter, Mr. Truong expressed his happiness for his son’s development in prison. He also expressed his thanks for Catholic priests and friends who always supported his family and his son.
Mr. Duc and three fellows were arrested on Aug 2, 2011 when they disseminated lift lets calling on people to boycott the general election for the country’s rubber stamp National Assembly, and demanded for multi-party democracy. Duc was sentenced to months in prison and one year under house arrest. The three others fellows named Dau Van Duong, Hoang Phong and Chu Manh Son were also imprisoned but they already completed their sentences.
During his imprisonment in K3- Phu Son 4 prison in Thai Nguyen province, Mr. Duc strongly fought for prisoners’ rights. Once he was disciplined for ten day-nights during which he was spackled.
Forcing Dieu Cay to Live in Exile, Vietnam Deports Prominent Activist Out of Country
By forcing blogger Dieu Cay to live in exile in the U.S., Vietnam is successful in expelling the prominent political dissident out of the country and preventing him from further activities which may threaten the communist government, said political observers.
This is part of Hanoi’s plan to deal with local political dissent. Earlier this year, Vietnam also forced Cu Huy Ha Vu, a prominent France-trained legal expert to live in exile in the U.S.
Writer Tran Khai Thanh Thuy and activist Doan Viet Hoat were released and also forced to go abroad.
Blogger Dieu Cay and Mr. Vu and other activists would be leading figures with high impacts on Vietnam’s democratic campaign. However, their roles may be less when they live abroad.
Nghe An province-based Activist Detained, Tortured by Officials
Former political prisoner Chu Manh Son in the central province of Nghe An on Oct 30 was detained by local police and tortured by a state official when he went to Vinh Airport to welcome two activists Pham Ba Hai and Le Van Soc.
On the day, Son went to the airport to pick up the two guests, however, they were detained by local policemen. Son was also detained in his way back to his home.
In police station in Vinh, Son was beaten severely by Chu Van Phu, head of the Yen Thanh district’s Department of Criminal Case Implementation with the witness of other senior police officers who remained silent.
Phu and other policemen outraged Son with dirty words.
Mr. Son was a former political prisoner. He was imprisoned for 30 months for anti-state propaganda as he called on people to boycott the general election in 2011 which were symbolic. He is still under one-year house arrest.
CTNLT: Đường Đến Sự Tự Do
Police Continues to Harass Former Political Prisoners
Former Vietnamese political prisoners continue to suffer harassment of the local security forces. In most recent case, on Oct 29-30, former prisoners of conscience Pham Ba Hai, Le Van Soc and Chu Manh Son were followed, detained and severely beaten by policemen.
On Oct 29, Mr. Hai and Mr. Soc were beaten by plain-cloth agents after the duo visited Duong Au, a former political prisoner in Da Lat.
Mr. Son, a former political prisoner on Nghe An, was also detained and beaten by policemen after he went to the airport to welcome Mr. Hai and Mr. Soc, who came from Da Lat to visit a Nghe An province-based activist.
On Oct 23, Vietnam’s president asked the country’s legislative body National Assembly to ratify the UN’s Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The brutal acts of policemen in Da Lat and Vinh against the three former political prisoners were not rare in Vietnam where numerous suspects were found died in police stations.
Vinh Security Chief Brutally Beats Activist Pham Ba Hai
During his detention by policemen in Vinh, former political prisoner Pham Ba Hai was severely attacked by the local security chief, the victim reported.
After being deported from the local airport to a police station in Vinh, Hai was interrogated by a group of seven police officers led by the security chief.
Becoming anger after failing to open Hai’s personal computer, the chief attacked Hai by thrusting two his fingers into Hai’s nose. He also burn Hai’s arm with cigarette.
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Ministry of Public Security Releases Investigation Conclusion on AnhBaSam
Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security has released its investigation conclusion on the case of blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh (aka AnhBaSam) and his assistant Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy.
Mr. Ha Huy Son, the lawyer of Mr. Vinh and Ms. Thuy, confirmed the news with BBC.
Mr. Son said there is a violation of the investigators and he will file protest to the Supreme People’s Procuracy.
According to the conclusion, on April 1, the General Department of Security reported to the Investigation Agency of the Ministry of Public Security that the internet subscriber Nguyen Huu Vinh “regularly posts online articles which may harm interests of the state, rights and legal interests of citizen.”
The conclusion said Vinh and his assistance had posted 24 articles since September 2013 on two websites “Dan Quyen” and “Chep Su Viet” which were under Vinh’s administration.
On May 5, the ministry released a communiqué informing that the security agency arrested Vinh and Thuy, and searched their houses in Hanoi.
The two were charged of posting online articles which contain bad information defaming the party and state. Their accusation was under Article 258 of the country’s Criminal Code.
Article 258 Violates Vietnam’s Constitution: Dr. Nguyen Quang A
Article 258 of Vietnam’s Criminal Code is serious violation of the country’s Constitution as well as the international conventions on which Vietnam is a signatory, said Dr. Nguyen Quang A, a former advisor of the prime minister.
The article, which is often used to silent government’s critics, violates human rights enshrined in the Constitution and UN’s conventions, said Dr. A, who is one of activists in Hanoi.
Last week, Vietnam accused blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh (AnhBaSam) of violating Article 258.
By using Article 258 to accuse Mr. Vinh, the communist government is trying to threaten other activists from posting articles which promote multi-party democracy and human rights, Dr. A noted.
Lam Dong Security Agents Severely Beat Activist Pham Ba Hai
After visiting former political prisoner Duong Au in Duc Trong district in Lam Dong province, activists Pham Ba Hai and Le Van Soc were brutally attacked by plain-cloth security agents.
Mr. Hai is a former political prisoner and member of the Former Vietnamese Prisoner of Conscience which often provides assistance and support for former political prisoners in the communist nation.
After returning to his house in Ho Chi Minh City, Mr. Hai reported about the attack in Lam Dong:
About 7PM Oct 29, 2014, I and the religious activist Le Van Soc went to Duc Trong district, Lam Dong province to visit the land rights activist Duong Au, who ended his jail term of five years last month.
As soon as we entered the house, a nearly 60-year-old man walked in and introduced as the security officer of Lam Dong province.
Duong Au was absent; he was joining a funeral in the same village. His daughter drove a motorbike to call him back. Seeing me, from the gate he ran into the house; we hugged each other friendly. Duong Au was jailed in the same cell with me at K2, Z30A Xuan Loc prison nearly one year, and then he was disciplined and moved elsewhere. We inquired about each other’s lives, exchanging the current situation.
Conversation occasionally was contributed few words by provincial security officer. Sometimes he also received or made phone calls. Au Duong told me that security forces have increased outside the house. Not comfortable to stay, we said goodbye my resilient friend and left for Da Lat city, 10 kilometers away.
Getting off the bus, we walked towards Dalat market just the two short streets. Two motorcycle scouts always follow nearby. Just turning to Le Dai Hanh street, we saw four youths coming. A man took his body jerked my shoulder; another man asked “To whom you visit?”. Immediately one guy punched me at the nose.
I fell down on the pavement. My hands covered the head to suffer the kicks to the stomach and back. Finding unsatisfactorily, a man grabbed my jacket collar trying to raise me up while continuously kicking at hip and chest. In the beginning Le Van Soc were pushed across the street, seeing me beaten, he tried to approach to help but he was kicked into the stomach. His bag with casual clothes dropped on the ground.
The finale of the play is pulled up: a plain cloth man was quickly walking forward us while speaking loudly: “I’m a police here.” Four attackers responded: “Police, run, run!”. The false policeman took my hand firmly, lifting me up and asked there is anything to report. I looked at him and said, “Okay, thank you.” A couple witnessed the whole incident also condoled when we went through.
During beaten, my hands kept covering head, I constantly yelled a question: “Why you beat me?”.
From the incident of being attacked, the authorities actively manipulated it out as we assaulted and robbed assets of a resident in Dalat city. It’s an excuse for them to arrest me and Le van Soc at Vinh airport on the next day.
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Summary: Nguyễn Ngọc Anh
Translator: Vu Quoc Ngu
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