Human Rights Defenders’ Weekly Nov 10-16: Prisoner of Conscience Ngo Hao Claims Unfairly Imprisoned

Defenders-weekly-17-11Defenders’ Weekly | 17/11/2014

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Prisoner of conscience Ngo Hao, who is imprisoned for exercising his freedom of expression, has sent a letter calling for community concerns about his unfair imprisonment.

Between June 9 and Nov 10, Binh Duong province police in collaboration with local mobs attacked the Protestant Mennonite Church in Ben Cat district ten times. They arrested pastors, clerks and students, forcing them to take out dresses and detaining them in a local police station.

Police continuously hired thugs to break Church’s gate and door to stump inside and beat pastors and missionaries and followers. Especially during Saturdays and Sundays since Oct 25, they have blocked roads and beat followers, not allowing them coming for pray in the church. Some followers were beaten severely with broken noses.

Police continuously hired thugs to break Church’s gate and door to stump inside and beat pastors and missionaries and followers.

On Nov 12, Binh Duong police arrested nine members of Mennonite Church.

Canadian Senator Ngo Thanh Hai, who has Vietnamese origin, has voiced against Vietnamese police torture. He said he supports the condemnation against Vietnamese police torture of the Vietnam Inter-religious Council and the Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience.

The Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience welcomed new two member, former political prisoners Ms. Vo Thi Thu Thuy and Mr. Quach Manh Tuan.

And other interesting news

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**********10/11/2014*********

Protestant Mennonite Church in My Phuoc Commune in Binh Duong Province Attacked by Police, Mobs

Recently, the Protestant Mennonite Church in My Phuoc commune in Binh Duong province has been attacked continuously by local police and thugs, with increasing number of attackers and severity.

Some church’s pastors posted videos in Internet which showed that the church is attacked by mobs while local policemen were watching without intervening.

Pastor Tran Minh Hoa said local authorities have hired mobs to attack the church without reasons.

Earlier, pastor Nhan asked the local authorities three times for setting up church’s units. However, his request was turned down.

**********11/11/2014***********

Inhumane Treatment of Prisons’ Authorities Against Political Prisoners

Vietnamese prisons’ authorities have inhumanely treated political prisoners and dissidents as well as activists although the country has signed a number of UN’s conventions, including Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

In late October, lawyer Ha Huy Son, who represents arrested blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh, filled a petition asking B14 detention facility of the Ministry of Public Security to replace his roommate who acts brutally against Mr. Vinh. Vinh is currently under investigation for allegation of freedom abuse under Article 258 of the country’s Criminal Code.

Mrs. Can Thi Theu, another prisoner of conscience, is also forced to share a cell with HIV-infected inmate who is in the final phase of his deadly disease. Both Theu and her husband are sentenced with heavy imprisonments for demanding justice for their land which was illegally seizure by Hanoi’s authorities.

The prisons’ authorities have not allowed the family visiting the couple since the trial ends.

Former political prisoner Truong Minh Tam, who recently completed his sentence, informed that the situation of political prisoner Dang Xuan Dieu is critical and activists should voice to protect him from the severe treatment of the prison’s authorities.

*********12/11/2014*********

TPP Negotiation Progressive, Vietnam Has Big Chance

On Nov 10, leaders of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the U.S. and Vietnam emphasized that progress will be step to push TPP negotiation.

Leaders of the 12 countries which are negotiating over TPP, said they determined to ensure TPP’s interests to serve for sustainable and deep development with consideration of the different development levels of countries.

Hanoi is facing great pressure as U.S.’s legislators and international human rights bodies have called for not approving Vietnam to TPP’s pact unless the communist government conducts specific moves to improve its human rights situation such as releasing more political prisoners and amend laws which help the government imprison its critics as well as respect basic human rights, including rights to set up independent labor union.

U.S. Assistant Secretary Tom Malinowski declared that Vietnam could become a member of the U.S.-led TPP if Hanoi improves its human rights record.

**********13/11/2014*********

Open Letter Sent to HCM City Police Chief

On Feb 1, activist Pham Chi Dung was stopped in Ho Chi Minh City-based Tan Son Nhat International Airport when he is on his way to Swiss where he will attend a seminar on the sidelines of the Vietnam Human Rights Universal Periodic Review held by the UN’s Watch. The city’s police confiscated his passport and banned him from going abroad.

On his open letter sent to Major General Nguyen Chi Thanh, head of the HCM City’s Police Department on Nov 12, Dr. Dung said his movement rights in the country and abroad was unreasonably violated for long time and he was forced to use his rights of freedom of expression to inform the U.S.’s Congress and its government, the European Union, international human rights bodies and foreign press about Vietnam’s harassment against him. With these illegal moves of police, Vietnam is not deserved to be in the UN’s Human Rights Council nor eligible for receiving international privileges on economics and diplomacy which the TPP may bring, Dr. Dung said.

Vietnam should respect basic human rights, including the rights of free movement of its citizens. It will be the first step which can help the country to be qualified for TPP in February in 2015, he noted.

In his letter, he asked Gen. Thanh to clarify whether he is violating the national security and on which laws that his passport was confiscated for unlimited time.

If HCM City police fails to find his violation, they must return his passport and allow him to go abroad, he said in his letter.

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FVPoC Launches Campaign Calling for Condemnation of Police Torture against Prisoners

The Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience (FVPoC) has launched a campaign between Nov 16 and Dec 10 to call for condemnation of police torture against prisoners, especially political ones.

The torture conducted by Vietnam’s police against prisoners, especially those imprisoned for political reasons, is under alarmed level.

Between August 2010 and July 2014, 28 Vietnamese citizens died during detention in police stations, of those, 14 deaths were caused by police violence as authorities admitted, four from unexplained causes, six were allegedly suicides and four allegedly from illness during detention, not included victims of political dissidents, according to the Human Rights Watch (HRW)’s statistics during the period.

The statistics did not account these victims who are attacked for political reasons.

In 2013, police forces attacked 71 Vietnamese political dissidents and activists. This year, the local policemen have targeted 115 activists in 31 cases. As many as 12 political prisoners were severely treated in 2013 and 18 others have been inhumanely treated so far this year.

The FVPoC has urged Vietnam’s civil societies to participate in the campaign to praise human rights value and request Hanoi to respect basic human rights.

**********14/11/2014*********

Urgent Release: Binh Duong Police Detains Nine Followers of Protestant Mennonite Church during Night Nov 12

Between June 9 and Nov 10, Binh Duong province police in collaboration with local mobs attacked the Protestant Mennonite Church in Ben Cat district ten times. They arrested pastors, clerks and students, forcing them to take out dresses and detaining them in a local police station.

Police continuously hired thugs to break Church’s gate and door to stump inside and beat pastors and missionaries and followers. Especially during Saturdays and Sundays since Oct 25, they have blocked roads and beat followers, not allowing them coming for pray in the church. Some followers were beaten severely with broken noses.

During the night of Nov 12, Binh Duong police arrested nine followers, including pastor Tran Minh Hoa, clerk Dinh Nhat Minh Khoa, student Nguyen Quang Trieu, who is a son of pastor Nguyen Hong Quang.

The Protestant Mennonite Church condemned the severe suppression of the Binh Duong police. The church calls on Vietnam’s community in the country and abroad, international human rights bodies to alert foreign governments and the UN’s agencies to prevent Vietnam’s intensifying crackdown against the church.

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Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience Welcomes New Two Members

On Nov 12, the Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience welcomed new two member, former political prisoners Ms. Vo Thi Thu Thuy and Mr. Quach Manh Tuan.

Ms. Thuy is an activist for religious freedom. She participated in a campaign demanding Quang Binh province’s authorities to return Tam Toa Church to local Catholic residents, and disseminated leaflets calling for multiparty democracy. She was arrested in 2011 and accused of conducting anti-state propaganda. She was sentenced to 5 years in jail in the trial but reduced to 4 years in the appeal.

On Oct 22, she was released, three months ahead of her term.

Meanwhile, Mr. Tuan was arrested in early 2010 in Malaysia together with Mr. Le Van Hoa, Ms. Quach Thi Huyen and Mr. Nguyen Trung Truc with accusation of conducting activities violating national and regional security.

However, Malaysia’s court failed to convict them and Tuan and other fellows were illegally arrested and deported to the home country where he was accused of conducting anti-state activities under Articles 79 and 88 of the Criminal Code.

However, they were released unconditionally after nine days, thanks to international and domestic pressure.

Totally, Tuan was detained for 21 months.

During their stay in Malaysia, these activists participated in many demonstrations in Malaysia in fronts of the Vietnamese and Chinese embassies, and conducted a number of activities promoting multi-party democracy in Vietnam, demanding Vietnam’s government to release political prisoners and conduct multi-party democracy as well as protest China’s invasion of Vietnamese sovereignty in the East Sea.

Currently, Vietnam has banned him from going abroad. Local authorities have refused to issue a certificate for his children.

**********15/11/2014**********

International Community Concerned about Vietnam Police Torture: Canadian Senator

Canadian Senator Ngo Thanh Hai, who has Vietnamese origin, said international community is very concerned about Vietnamese police’s torture against political dissident and religions.

Vietnam has violated the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment which the communist government signed on November last year, the senator said.

He said he supports the condemnation of the Vietnam Inter-religious Council and the Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience against Vietnamese police torture.

He will try to support the fight for freedom, democracy and human rights of citizens in his home country.

*********16/11/2014********

Prisoner of Conscience Ngo Hao Claims Unfairly Imprisoned

Prisoner of conscience Ngo Hao, who was imprisoned for exercising his freedom of expression, has sent a letter calling for community concerns about his unfair imprisonment.

In his letter, Mr. Hao said between 2008 and 2012 he wrote to express his peaceful view on the country’s situation. He had not participated in any party nor convinced anyone. He had not made any banners nor leaflets against the state, he claimed.

On Dec 20, 2012, the inspection team searched his house without warranty of the court. They inserted documents with violent content in his computer and later used them against him, he said.

Police transferred information collected on internet to his computer and later used the materials to accuse him of conducting anti-state activities and sentenced him to 15 years in jail, he said.

He asked Vietnam’s government and community to bring back justice for him.

Summary: Nguyen Ngoc Anh

Translator: Vu Quoc Ngu