December 29, 2014
Vietnam Human Rights Defenders’ Weekly Dec 22-28, 2014: Family of Death-sentenced Nguyen Van Chuong Protests Unfair Sentence ahead of Planned Execution
Defenders’ Weekly | Dec 28,2014
Over the past seven years, parents of death-sentenced Nguyen Van Chuong have petitioned to protest unfair trials which gave their son the capital punishment. After being informed that Chuong’s execution is planned in late December, his parents are stationing in Hanoi capital city’s center to call for suspension of the execution for re-investigation and fair trial.
The family of blogger Nguyen Quang Lap rejected the Ho Chi Minh City police’s announcement which says he has confessed guilty and begged for clemency.
Police Academy confiscated working license of Human rights lawyer Vo An Dong.
The Vietnamese Human Rights Woman Association reviewed human rights violations of Vietnam’s government in 2014.
and many other interesting news.
Parents of death-sentenced Nguyen Van Chuong Calls for Execution Suspension
Parents of Nguyen Van Chuong, who was sentenced to death for accusation of murdering a Haiphong city-based police officer seven years ago, have petitioned in the Hanoi capital city’s center to call for suspension of his execution which is planned in late December, and re-investigation.
Mr. Nguyen Truong Chinh, the father of Chuong, said Chuong was wrongly sentenced in the murder case in Dinh Vu in Hai phong in the evening of July 14, 2007. In this evening, Chuong visited his home in Kim Thanh district in Hai Duong province, 40 kilometers from the murder scene.
During the investigation, Chuong was tortured to confess guilty, Mr. Chinh claimed. However, the trial and the appeal court rejected torture allegation as well as other alibi of Chuong.
Over the past seven years, Chuong’s parents have sent numerous petitions to many Vietnamese state agencies to protest the unfair sentence for their son.
In November, authorities came to inform that Chuong’s execution would be carried out in late December.
Vietnam on Its Road to CPC
Vietnam may be listed in the list of country of particular concerns (CPC) as the country’s human rights situation and freedom of religious have been worsened recently, said local activists.
The U.S. State Department, many embassies of Western countries in Vietnam, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, and the Special Reporter of UN on freedom of religion and beliefs have been watching Vietnam’s human rights situation and religious freedom in a bid to evaluate the Vietnamese government commitment on these issues.
Vietnamese activists have called on all religious communities to report Vietnam’s violations of religious freedom during the year to international agencies.
International organizations have expressed their concerns over Vietnam’s suppression against Christian Mennonite Church in Binh Duong province.
Machsong: Việt Nam: Đường Vào CPC
UN Representatives Meet 13 Vietnamese Refugees in Cambodia
The UN has announced that its working team met with 13 Vietnamese Montagnards who are hiding in Cambodia’s border zone for weeks in a bid to seek political asylum.
Fleeing from Vietnam to Cambodia a month ago, Montagnards are hiding in tropical forest in Northeastern province of Ratanakkiri because they fear that Cambodian authorities may deport them back to Vietnam.
UN representatives said the Vietnamese refugees are facing a number of serious diseases, including malaria and dengue fever.
This is the second group of Montagnards met with UN representatives. Last week, UN representatives also met with five Vietnamese refugees.
Cambodian human rights activists informed there are five other Vietnamese groups hiding in forest. They are willing to meet with UN’s representatives, Cambodians said.
Spokesman Khieu Sopheak of Cambodia’s Ministry of Interior accused the U.N’s agency of violating his country’s sovereignty as meeting with Vietnamese refugees without being licensed by local authorities.
In Vietnam, Montagnards face serious discrimination.
Vietnam’s government has asked Cambodia’s authorities to arrest the refugees and deport them.
Human Rights Watch has called on Cambodia’s government not to be influenced by Vietnam on the issue of Montagnards refugees.
Family of Blogger Nguyen Quang Lap Rejects Information from Police on His Confession
The family of blogger Nguyen Quang Lap has rejected the recent announcement of the Ho Chi Minh City police which says he has confessed guilty and begged for clemency.
Earlier, the HCM City Police Department said on its website that writer Lap, who runs Que Choa blog, “has confessed his legal violation and begged for clemency to reunite with his family.”
The wife of blogger Lap said he did not make any confession nor clemency as the police said.
She said the police have decided to hold him for four months to probe for anti-state activities according to Article 88 of the Criminal Code. The family is seeking to hire lawyers to protect him, she added.
Responding to Mr. Lap’s arrest, several Vietnamese intellectuals working in the U.S., including prominent mathematic Ngo Bao Chau have sent open letters to Vietnam’s authorities asking to let the blogger go home during the investigation. The detention of the writer will not good for Vietnam’s image, they said in their letters.
Human Rights Lawyer: Authorities Want to Revenge On Me
Authorities in the central province of Phu Yen want to revenge on me for protecting local resident Ngo Thanh Kieu, who was beaten to death by local policemen during investigation for minor crime offense, said lawyer Vo An Don.
The human rights lawyer made this statement after the police and the People’s Procuracy in Phu Yen have sent their letters to the provincial Bar Delegation and Department of Justice proposing to revoke his license ahead of the appeal hearing for the case.
The police and the procuracy accused lawyer Don of conducting professional and ethical violations and defame local leadership, and making a number of interviews to foreign news agencies thus affecting social disorders.
Due to his legal assistance for Mr. Kieu’s family against five police officers in Phu Yen province, Mr. Don was threatened to be dismissed as a lawyer.
Earlier this year, lawyer Don defended Kieu for free, and he bravely brought to the court policemen causing Kieu’s death. Five policemen were sentenced to between six years and nine years in prison for torturing Kieu to death.
He has also provided legal assistance for nearly 200 poor people so far.
He said he is doing legal things and have nothing to fear.
One More Death Caused by Police in Binh Thuan Province
Nguyen Le Tien Ngoc, 1991, died on Dec 16 after being beaten by police in Ham Phu commune in Ham Thuan Bac district in the central province of Binh Thuan, said a witness.
In late evening of Tuesday two weeks ago, Ngoc and Duong Lam Vu played with fireworks in a local reservoir. Communal policemen came and the duo jumped into the water but only Vu escaped while Ngoc was detained and beaten by the policemen, Vu said latter.
However, the autopsy did not reveal the specific causes of Ngoc’s death.
Ngoc’s family said the results of the autopsy are not in line with the symptoms of his body which has a number of injuries.
Torture is a systemic problem in Vietnam, especially in communal level where policemen are not trained well. Over 20 Vietnamese people died in police stations or after being beaten by police across the country this year, according to local activists.
Paris Hosts Seminar on Vietnam’s Human Rights Situation and Religious Freedom
Over one hundreds Vietnamese scholars and activists gathered in a meeting room of Saint Augustine Church in the French capital city of Paris to attend a seminar on Vietnam’s current human rights situation and religious freedom. Catholic priest Nguyen Van Hai, Two-star General Simon and Catholic father Atcnil were among participants.
Representing Vietnam’s current religious freedom situation, Father Khai noted that Vietnam’s government has not respected human rights as well as religious freedom. In the communist nation, religious bodies are not allowed to establish schools and hospitals while Christians are not permitted to join police and army forces.
In many localities, especially in Son La, Dien Bien and Lai Chau, people are banned from building religious facilities, even prohibited to follow unsanctioned religions. In these provinces, no religious facilities existed.
Delegation of Vietnamese United Buddhists Church Warns of Worsening Human Rights Situation in Vietnam
Delegation of Vietnamese United Buddhists Church has Warned of worsening human rights situation in Vietnam and strongly condemned on-going political crackdown against online activists, saying the move violates Vietnam’s Constitution as well as UN Conventions on human rights.
According to the delegation, Vietnam’s human rights situation worsened with death sentences of Nguyen Van Chuong and Ho Duy Hai given by unfair trials on which the judges ignored alibi of the accused peoples. There are sign of torture which forced suspects to confess guilty while lawyers defending them were threatened.
Even patriotic people and human rights activists have been suppressed as the government has used fabricated offences to criminalize political dissidents such as Mr. Ngo Hao, Ms. Bui Thi Minh Hang, Ms. Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh and Mr. Nguyen Van Minh, all were accused of conducting anti-state activities or social disorders.
Recently, Vietnam’s government arbitrarily arrested bloggers Hong Le Tho and Nguyen Quang Lap and attacked a number of social activists as well as intimidated others.
Anti-China Activist Conducting Two-week Hunger Strike in Prison
Anti-China activist and land rights advocate Bui Thi Minh Hang is has conducted a hunger strike since Dec 12 on which the People’s Court in Dong Thap province rejected her appeals and upheld a three-year imprisonment for the fabricated allegation on conducting social disorders.
Her move aims to protest the unfair appeal hearing, said Mrs. Quynh Anh, a daughter of Hang.
Anh informed that the family is preparing to send a petition asking for final appealing for her mother. The family insists re-investigation of the case, she added.
Dak Nong Authorities Detain Local Petitioner ahead of Arrival of Gov’t Inspectors
Police in Tuy Duc district in Dak Nong province on Dec 26 detained Ms. Huong, one of 300 petitioners in Dak Ngo Cooperative in order to prevent her from meeting with a working team of the Governmental Inspectorate.
Several years ago, Dak Ngo Cooperative unexpectedly changed labor agreements with its members from 30 years to 5 years, making 1,000 workers of 300 householders become landless. They may lose their properties as the cooperative management board will seize their land at any moment.
Huong and other farmers have sent numerous petitions to many state agencies during the past years but their voices are ignored.
Vietnamese Women for Human Rights Issues Report on Vietnam Human Rights Violations in 2014
Recently the Vietnamese Women for Human Rights reviewed Vietnam’s human rights violations in 2014.
The unsanctioned women body pointed out the cases on which the Vietnamese government has suppressed local dissidents, preventing social activists to exercise their basic human rights such as freedom of movement and freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.
Vietnam’s government has arrested a number of online bloggers and social activists in 2014, the organization noted.
The organization also raised concerns over police torture during investigation and unfair trials in many cases, including the case involved Ho Duy Hai and Nguyen Van Chuong, who were unfairly sentenced to death without convincing evidences.
Nghe An Police Not Allow Activists to Provide Christmas Presents to Refugees Returning from Thailand
A group of young activists on Dec 21 tried to bring Christmas presents to Catholic followers in Lang Chai in Hung Nguyen district in the central province of Nghe An. Their presents included winter clothes and small amount of money for refugees who just came back from Thailand.
However, their charity mission was disrupted by local police as the communal authorities sent numerous policemen and militia to block all roads to the village. The case was settled with the involvement of the district authorities.
Amnesty International Launches Campaign to Support Prisoners of Conscience
The Amnesty International, on the occasion of the international human rights day [Dec 10], has launched a campaign to collect signature to support prisoners of conscience, who are imprisoned for fighting for human rights.
Vietnamese political prisoner Ta Phong Tan is among 12 prominent human rights activists in the world subjects of the campaign.
During Dec 03-17, the campaign got over 1.6 million of signatures for the campaign.
The Amnesty International called on every citizen not to close eyes to any human rights violations.
Vietnam Uses Mobs to Suppress Political Dissent: HRW
Vietnam’s authorities have used thugs to attack local political dissidents and social activists, said Brad Adams, executive director of the Asian division of Human Rights Watch.
In the most recent case, on Dec 9, Ho Chi Minh City-based blogger Nguyen Hoang Vi was attacked on her way to her house.
Other activists, including Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, Huynh Ngoc Tuan and Huynh Trong Hieu, were also attacked by mobs rented by local security forces, Mr. Adams said.
As least 29 human rights activists and bloggers, including two well-known Nguyen Huu Vinh and Nguyen Quang Lap, were arrested in 2014.