November 24, 2014
Vietnam Human Rights Defenders’ Weekly Nov 17-23: Vietnamese Political Dissidents Meet with Visiting German Vice Chancellor
Defenders’ Weekly | Nov 23, 2014
Six Vietnamese political dissidents namely Pham Ba Hai, Huynh Trong Hieu, Le Quoc Quyet, Nguyen Tri Dung, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh and Huynh Thuc Vy on Nov 21 met with Visiting German Vice Chancellor cum Minister of Economy and Energy Sigmar Gabriel and other senior government officials to discuss Vietnam’s human rights situation.
Independent journalist Truong Minh Duc sent a petition to Dinh Duong province’s authorities and the Ministry of Public Security to ask for immediate investigation the attack on which thugs severely beat him and took away his personnel items.
Former prisoners of conscience launched a campaign to condemn torture in Vietnam.
And many other interesting news.
Former Political Prisoner Chu Manh Son Protests Torture
Nghe An-based former political prisoner Chu Manh Son has joined a campaign launched by the Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience (FVPoC) protesting torture and harassment of Vietnamese security forces against Vietnamese activists and ordinary citizens.
He urged domestic and international human rights bodies to voice against Vietnamese police power abuse and demand Hanoi to abide the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Crimes and Degrading Treatment.
During his imprisonment, he was badly treated by prison’s authorities. After being freed, he has regularly been harassed and beaten several times by policemen.
However, he said he has never regretted the path he choose, that to fight for human rights.
Ha Nam Senior Judge Threatens Victim, Demanding Her to Change Denunciation
Deputy Chief Judge in the northern province of Ha Nam Dinh Van An has threatened Tran Thi Nga, who came to file a denunciation to protest illegal confiscation of her motorbike by local policemen, and demanding her to change the denunciation in favor of the wrong-doing police officers.
The incident happened on Nov 7 in the provincial People’s Court building when Ms. Nga was invited to settle the lawsuit against local policemen for illegal confiscation of her motorbike on Oct 2.
In response, Nga asked the senior judge to provide legal documents for his instruction but he refused.
FVPOC: LUẬT PHÁP THỜI CỘNG SẢN
Torture, Police Power Abuse on Rise in Vietnam: Activist Huynh Thuc Vy
Torture and police power abuse are on the rise in Vietnam as farmers have been revoked from their land while factory workers are exploited and nationalists have been beaten, said local activist Huynh Thuc Vy.
She said she may be imprisoned for exercising her rights of freedom of religion, expression and assembly. However, she is not afraid. Vietnam’s authorities could not prevent her and other social activists to exercise these rights, she said.
Vy wants to tell the world that Vietnamese activists just want to exercise human basic rights. She demands Vietnam’s authorities to ensure these rights for local residents.
FVPoC Welcomes New Member Named Tran Quoc Hien from Netherlands
The Former Vietnamese Prisoner of Conscience (FVPoC) has welcomed new member, Mr. Tran Quoc Hien from the Netherlands.
Mr. Hien was arrested on Jan 11, 2007 and sentenced to five years in prison and two years under house arrest by Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court.
Currently, Vietnam has no freedom and democracy while human rights were not respected, he said.
He said he is very proud to be part of the FVPoC which fights for human rights and equality in the country.
Quang Ngai Protestant Church Says Local Authorities Illegally Seize Its Land
Quang Ngai province Protestant Church has filled a denunciation to protest the illegal land seizure of the provincial authorities.
Accordingly, Quang Ngai authorities have licensed some local people with “red book” for the right of use of land which belongs to the church. With these red book, these people can sell the church’s land.
The church paid the tax for the land in the 1993-1999 period, the church claimed.
The church has asked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to report the case to the government.
Earlier, the ministry sent a working team to settle the issues, however, the team worked ineffectively as authorities have not want to settle the issues according to the laws.
Beaten Independent Journalist Truong Minh Duc Asks Police to Invest Attack
Independent journalist Truong Minh Duc has sent a denunciation against attacking thugs and asked Binh Duong provincial Police Department and the Ministry of Public Security to immediately investigate the case on which mobs severely beat him and took away his items, including mobile devices.
In his denunciation, Mr. Duc pointed that he was beaten three times within the last two months. He also said the attacks were conducted by security agents and policemen in Binh Duong, headed by Lieutenant Hoa.
He demanded Binh Duong province’s police to work out on his denunciation and hold a face-to-face meeting with Hoa.
One week after the attack was made, Binh Duong police did nothing, Hoa has not been called on for investigation.
Mr. Duc called on press agencies and domestic and foreign human rights bodies to voice to protect him. He also asked the Ministry of Public Security to soon answer on the case.
Representatives of Vietnam Blogger Network Meet with U.S. Consulate Officers to Promote “We Want to Know” Campaign
On Nov 21, Nguyen Hoang Vi, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, and Duong Lam, members of the Vietnam Blogger Network, met with Charles Sellers, head of the Political Department and two officers Garrett Harkins and Betsy Allens of the Ho Chi Minh City-based U.S. General Consulate to promote the network’s “We Want to Know” campaign.
The Vietnamese activists said the campaign’s goal is to express citizens’ right to know and demand transparency of Vietnam’s government policies which are on national interests.
They also expressed the hope that the U.S. and other foreign countries to support Vietnam’s people in fighting for human rights and democracy.
They also discussed with U.S.’s diplomats on the way to hand over their requests to Vietnam’s parliament.
In turn, Mr. Sellers shared his interest in the campaign and said he supports all peaceful activities to promote human rights. The right of freedom of expression and right to know are among U.S.’s concerns, he noted.
The U.S. Embassy in Vietnam is expecting human rights improvement in Vietnam in coming time due to efforts of local activists, he added.
Vietnamese Political Dissidents Meet with Visiting German Vice Chancellor
Six Vietnamese political dissidents namely Pham Ba Hai, Huynh Trong Hieu, Le Quoc Quyet, Nguyen Tri Dung, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh and Huynh Thuc Vy met with Visiting German Vice Chancellor cum Minister of Economy and Energy Sigmar Gabriel and other senior government officials in Ho Chi Minh City on Nov 21 to discuss Vietnam’s human rights situation.
During the meeting taken in Sheraton Saigon Hotel, the Vietnamese activists talked about their peaceful activities to promote human rights in the country as well as Vietnam’s government tricks to suppress local dissidents.
The Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience proposed three measures that the German government should apply:
-Urges Vietnam’s communist government to free all political prisoners, especially Mai Thi Dung, Ta Phong Tan, Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung and Doan Huy Chuong.
-Asks Vietnam’s government to drop controversial Articles 79, 88 and 258 which Hanoi uses to silence political dissidents, open space for human rights defenders. If Germany has no measures to pressure on Vietnam, the Vietnamese release of political prisoners remains bargain on which Hanoi will take economic favor from Berlin.
-Support civil societies with proper means, including providing training and scholarship.
Xuyen Moc District Authorities Illegally Seize Land of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province-based Phuoc Buu Pagoda
Authorities in Xuyen Moc district on Nov 22 illegally built a village cultural facility on the land belongs to Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province-based Phuoc Buu Pagoda.
When monks and Buddhist followers gathered in the building and took photos, policemen came and seized cameras. Monk Thich Thien Minh was severely beaten by policemen and later detained to the commune police station together with two followers for several hours.