March 9, 2015
Vietnam Human Rights Defenders’ Weekly March 2-8- Lawyer Nguyen Van Dai Harassed after His House Arrest Ends
Defenders’ Weekly | Mar 08, 2015
On March 5-6, democracy activist Nguyen Van Dai was threatened after his four-year house arrest ended on Thursday.
Ms. Nguyet Anh and some her artist-friends will carry out a campaign titled “We March for Freedom” for two weeks in a number of European countries.
On March 3, a delegation of twelve Vietnamese coming from many states met with U.S.’s politicians urging them to take hard measures to deal with increasing violations of religious freedom in Vietnam.
On March 2, the family of human rights activist Tran Thi Nga was harassed by the security forces in the northern province of Ha Nam.
and other news.
Artist Nguyen Anh and Her Friends Launch “We March for Freedom” campaign in Europe
Ms. Nguyet Anh and some her artist-friends will launch a campaign titled “We March for Freedom” for two weeks in a number of European countries with aim to alert foreign countries about violations of human rights in Vietnam and call for democracy as well as release of prisoners of conscience and bloggers held in Vietnam’s prisons because of their voices for political reforms.
Ms. Anh called on families of imprisoned activists and bloggers to provide her more information on their cases so she could hand it over to international human rights bodies and donors in order to promote democracy and human rights in the country.
Cambodia Deports 36 Vietnamese Montagnards, Allowing 13 Others to Seek Asylum
As many as 13 Vietnamese Montagnards have been recommended for refugee’s status by Cambodia’s government which decided to deport 36 others to the home country.
The asylum seekers are waiting for approval of the Cambodian minister of Interior Affairs.
Chhay Thi, an activist from rights group Adhoc in Cambodia’s Ratanakkiri province, on Feb 25 said 36 Montagnards coming from Vietnam’s Central Highlands were arrested when they were trying to go to Phnom Penh. They were deported to Vietnam, he added.
Spokesman Khieu Sopheak of Cambodia’s Interior Ministry said the ministry is reviewing for granting refugee’s status for the remaining 13 Montagnards.
Ha Nam Policemen Harass Human Rights Activist in Her Private House
On March 2, a group of policemen of Hai Ba Trung ward, Phu Ly city, Ha Nam province, went into the private house of human rights activist Tran Thi Nga just to take her banners which condemn illegal taking of her motorbike and other items by local police and hired thugs on December 20, 2013.
Ms. Nga’s family has been regularly harassed by local police.
Bac Ninh Imprisons 6 People Who Protesting Construction of Tu Son Waste Water Treatment Plant
Authorities in Vietnam’s northern province of Bac Ninh have imprisoned 12 people who have protested the construction of Tu Son waste water treatment plant.
Being convicted of conducting public disorders without solid evidence, 6 residents of Trinh Nguyen village in Tu Son commune will be imprisoned for 26 months each. Mr. Do Van Hao and his wife Ngo Thi Toan will serve 26-month imprisonment, starting on March 6.
Other six villagers will receive 28-month suspension.
In 2008, the authorities of Tu Son town in Bac Ninh province seized land of 65 householders in Trinh Nguyen village for building the waste water treatment plant which met strong protest of the local residents. The residents asked the local authorities to move the plant far from the village to protect environment, and compensate for seized land according to the law.
However, the authorities refused and arrested the most active protestors. Many protestors were beaten severely, one was attacked with acid.
Vietnam Public Expresses Concerns Over Police Power Abuse
Many Vietnamese have expressed their concerns over the power abuse of the police which is considered as the main forces to maintain the political monopoly of the communist party.
In recent weeks, the state media and social networks have covered two well-known cases, one related to the arrest of model-artist Trang Tran, and the another about the death of a suspect in a police station in the central province of Ha Tinh.
The controversial death of Mr. Nguyen Van Tinh during detention has triggered debate among Vietnamese nationwide. Ha Tinh province’s police released unreasonable causes for his death.
A number of the deaths during detentions in police station has made people infuriating.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Reports Vietnam’s Violations in 2014
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, in his major speech on March 5, was deeply concerned at measures that restrict freedom of expression and democratic space in Vietnam and other countries.
“When powerful leaders feel threatened by a tweet, a blog, or a high-school student’s speech, this speaks of profound underlying weakness,” he said. “And when writers are abducted, jailed, whipped, or put to death; when journalists are assaulted, subjected to sexual violence, tortured and killed; when peaceful protestors are gunned down by thugs; when human rights lawyers, human rights defenders and land activists are arrested and jailed on spurious charges of sedition; when newspapers are attacked or shut down – such cases attack and undermine the foundations of stable governance.”
In Vietnam, independent writers, bloggers and human rights activists have been harassed and held in severe conditions, and charged with criminal offenses, he said, adding some dissidents were sentenced to heavy imprisonment terms for controversial convictions such as anti-state propaganda.
Vietnam’s government has restricted independent networks and tightened control over publication and broadcasting as well as restricted Internet access.
Oversea Vietnamese Urge U.S. to Press Vietnam on Religious Freedom
On March 3, a delegation of twelve Vietnamese coming from different states met with U.S.’s politicians urging them to take hard measures to deal with increasing violations of religious freedom in Vietnam.
At a meeting with the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, the delegation pointed out Vietnam’s laws, ordinances and decrees which aim to restrict religious freedom in the communist nation. They also condemned some specific decisions of Vietnam’s government, including the seizure of a Catholic church in Dak Jak, Kon Tum or the suppression against Mennonite Church in Binh Duong province.
After a meeting with the U.S. State Department, three members of the delegation worked with staff of Senator James Lankford on human rights and religious freedom requirements if Vietnam wants to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
Apartment of Well-known Activist Attacked after House Arrest Expires
The private apartment of Nguyen Van Dai, an well-known human rights activist in Hanoi, was attacked on Mar 6, on the same day his four-year house arrest expired, according to his facebook account.
Lawyer Dai, who was served his four-year imprisonment between 2007 and 2011, was under house arrest until Friday. In 2007, he was arrested and charged for anti-state propaganda under Article 88 of the country’s Penal Code.
During his four-year house arrest, Hanoi’s police regularly sent their staff to monitor him, and closely followed him when he went out within the ward where he resides. However, only plainclothes agents were nearby yesterday when the term ended.
In the morning, a group of activists came to his apartment to congratulate his full freedom. When they left, the activists met a group of thugs who took pictures and filmed the visitors but no incident happened.
Later, seeing Mr. Dai in the bacon of his apartment in the 3rd floor of the building, the thugs insulted him. When he went inside, the thugs came and tried to break the front door of his apartment. They broke the door, which was once destroyed by thugs on Jan 30.
Several minutes later, the thugs left.
Mr. Dai called the local police but received no assistance.
On Thursday’s afternoon, a group of four thugs also gathered in front of his apartment and insulted his family. Dai telephoned the local police for assistance but he received no response.
Mr. Dai was a subject of attack of hired thugs several times during the house arrest. In late 2013, thugs attacked him with glass at a local restaurant when he was with his fellows of the unsanctioned Brotherhood for Democracy. He received serious injuries in his head and needed to be hospitalized for treatment.
Mr. Dai was not allowed to visit friends outside of his ward. A few weeks ago, he was detained in the local police station and fined with VND2.5 million for going to the private house of his friend Pham Hong Son in Ba Dinh district for health consultation. Mr. Son, who is a medical doctor by training, is also a former political prisoner.
Mr. Dai was arrested in 2007 and sentenced to four years in prison. After being released in 2011, he formed the Brotherhood for Democracy to promote multi-party democracy in Vietnam.
In order to keep the country under one-party regime, Vietnam’s communist government has tolerated any dissent. In its 2014/2015 Report released on Feb. 25, the Amnesty International said Vietnam’s security officers harassed and physically attacked peaceful activists, and held them in short-term detention.
FB NguyenVanDai: Nguyễn Văn Đài bị khủng bố ngay sau khi hết quản
U.S. Confirms Visit of Vietnamese Communist Leader in 2015
U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius has confirmed that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam will make his visit to the American country this year at the invitation of the U.S.’s government.
Mr. Trong’s visit will be made in a context that the two countries have conducted a number of activities to mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic normalization.
In his interview to the Voice of America radio (VOA), Mr. Murray Hiebert, deputy director of the Sumitro Chair for Southeast Asia Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies said 2015 is the good moment for President Barack Obama to make his first visit to Vietnam.