June 8, 2015
Vietnam Human Rights Defenders’ Weekly June 1-7, 2015: Plainclothes Policemen Attack Anti-China Activist Pham Thanh Nghien
Defenders’ Weekly | Jun 07, 2015
On June 2, a group of several activists members of the Vietnam Blogger Network planned to visit Haiphong city-based activist Pham Thanh Nghien, however, they were barred by local police from entering Miss Nghien’s private house. Blogger Nghien and her three relatives were brutally attacked by under covered policemen.
Many human rights activists have voiced to demand Vietnam’s communist government to unconditionally release Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung and Doan Huy Chuong as well as many Vietnamese prisoners of conscience held in Vietnamese prisons. They also urged the U.S.’s government and Congress to have preconditions before allowing Vietnam to become a member of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
Blogger Ta Phong Tan has conducted a hunger strike since May 13 to protest inhumane treatment of the prison where she is serving 12 years for allegation of anti-state propaganda. Her health has been worsened and her younger sister has called on people to alert domestic public and international community, especially foreign diplomatic missions in the country.
And other news deserved your attentions.
Vietnam Inter-religion Council Issues Press Release: Pastor Nguyen Manh Hung Attends Hearing at Canadian Parliament’s Central Block to Call for Vietnam’s Religious Freedom
On June 1, Pastor Nguyen Manh Hung and activist Truong Minh Tam met Canadian Legislators Judy Sgro and Irwin Cotler. The two Vietnamese also met representatives of local non-government organizations (NGOs), religious clerks and conducted a presentation before the Canadian Parliament on religious freedom violations in Vietnam.
The two activists presented Vietnam’s policies which aim to suppress unsanctioned religious groups and human rights activists.
Vietnam Communist Gov’t Strives to Demolish Lien Tri Pagoda in Thu Thiem: Vietnam Inter-religion Council
The Vietnam Inter-religion Council has sent a press release to condemn the efforts of authorities in Ho Chi Minh City which aim to demolish Lien Tri Pagoda in Thu Thiem.
On May 13, the authorities in Ho Chi Minh City sent a letter to Venerable Thich Khong Tanh, the chief monk of the pagoda to inform that they already transferred compensation sum and ready to take measures to seize the land on which the pagoda is located.
Ven. Tanh has called on domestic activists and international community, especially the Special Rapporter on Freedom of Religion and Beliefs to voice to protest the moves of the Vietnamese government.
Under covered Policemen Brutally Beat Haiphong city-based Anti-China Activist
On June 2, a group of several activists members of the Vietnam Blogger Network planned to visit Haiphong city-based activist Pham Thanh Nghien, however, they were barred by local police from entering Miss Nghien’s private house.
Blogger Nghien was brutally attacked by under covered policemen when she went out to host the guests. Her two sisters and one sister-in-law were also knocked down by plainclothes security agents with the witness of uniformed policemen.
Blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, one of Miss Nghien’s guests said they planned to discuss on recent situations in the East Sea and TPP agreement negotiation between Vietnam and the U.S.
for further reading: http://www.vietnamhumanrightsdefenders.net/2015/06/02/vietnam-security-forces-brutally-beat-anti-china-activist-amid-beijings-increasing-aggressiveness-in-east-sea/
The People’s Court in Vietnam’s central province of Khanh Hoa on June 2 sentenced two relatives of Tu Ngoc Thach, a school boy killed by local police in late 2013, to 15 months in jail each on charge of disturbing social order, state media reported Tuesday.
According to the final decision of the court in Van Ninh district, Mr. Mai Dinh Tam and Mr. Nguyen Van Ly were guilty of conducting public disorders after their nephew was beaten to death by local policemen.
The court said fishermen Tam and Ly triggered the demonstration of thousands of local residents in the National Road No. 1 to protest the brutal attack of local policemen which caused the death of Thach, a ninth-grade student in Van Tho commune in the morning of Dec 31, 2013.
Both Tam and Ly objected the sentences, saying they had not cause any trouble, just screaming when they learned that their nephew was beaten to death by police.
The duo said they arrived to the road from a long sea trip when thousands of people were already there.
Mr. Ly, the younger brother of Thach’s mother, said that he was forced to make fabricated confession by investigating officers during interrogation. The unlettered fisherman said he was signed the confession under pressure of a police officer named Cong.
Earlier on Nov 12-14, 2014, the People’s Court in Van Ninh sentenced policemen Le Minh Phat and Le Tan Khoe to respective 81 months and 36 months in prison for illegal detention and beating Thach to death. The court also gave a 9-month probation sentence for Le Ngoc Tam for illegal detention.
On March 3, the People’s Court of Khanh Hoa province rejected the sentences, saying there are signs of investigation violations and letting culprits at large in Van Tho commune.
Ms. Vo Thi Lan, who was in the scene, said that Phat severely beat handcuffed Thach, who was detained as a suspect in a murder case.
Policemen Phat and Tam said policeman Huynh Trung Thang also beat Thach, however, Thang remained unprosecuted.
Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience Harassed by Local Authorities
Vietnam’s communist government has continue to monitor and harass former prisoners of conscience, many of them have been kept under house arrest for long periods.
The communist government has applied policies which strive to halt former political prisoners’ economic activities and their social relations.
Recently, former political prisoner Pham Thanh Nghien was brutally assaulted by policemen in Haiphong city, her three sisters were also knocked down by under covered police who barred a group of three activists from visiting her.
Lawyer Le Cong Dinh, ex-political prisoner is under close surveillance of Saigon-based police while police in Thai Binh have not allowed Mr. Tran Anh Kim to go out for taking breakfast near his house.
Mr. Nguyen Huu Cau, who was imprisoned for decades, has been harassed continuously from local authorities.
Many other former prisoners of conscience have been under the government’s persecution.
The U.S. and other democratic countries as well as international human rights bodies have condemned the Vietnamese government’s treatment against former prisoners of conscience.
Campaign to Promote Release of Union Activists Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung, Doan Huy Chuong and Other Prisoners of Conscience
Numerous human rights activists in the country and abroad have voiced to demand Vietnam’s communist government to free labor activists Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung and Doan Huy Chuong as well as other prisoners of conscience.
They have launched a campaign to call on the U.S.’s Congress and the government of President Barack Obama to demand Vietnam to improve its human rights records and free prisoners of conscience in order to become a member of TPP agreement.
Mr. Hung and Chuong are labor activists who voiced to protect workers from overexploitation of foreign companies. Instead of assisting them, the Vietnamese communist government arrested the duo and charged them with allegation of anti-state activities.
Activists asked President Obama and the Congress to pressure Hanoi to allow independent trade union, free press and release of labor activists and prisoners of conscience along with improving human rights situation.
German Commissioner for Human Rights Meets with Representative of Vietnam Blogger Network
Blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (aka Me Nam or Mushroom Mother), co-founder of the Vietnam Blogger Network, met with Mr. Christophe Strässer, commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the German Federal Foreign Office in Hanoi on June 4.
During the meeting, Ms. Quynh reported the case of blogger Pham Thanh Nghien, who was imprisoned for peaceful protests against China’s violations of the Vietnamese sovereignty. Miss Nghien has been a subject of regular harassment of the local authorities in Haiphong city.
Quynh also reported the progress of the Campaign to Promote Human Rights in 2015.
In turn, Mr. Strässer said that he pays special attention to Vietnam’s ongoing efforts to promote human rights. “Vietnam is an important partner of Germany in the Southeast Asia and human right issues are also part of the two countries’ relations,” he said.
On June 3-9, Mr. Strässer is working with Vietnam’s state agencies in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as well as meeting with representatives of independent civil organizations on issues of economics, human rights and religious freedom.
Blogger Dieu Cay Conducts Hearing on Vietnam Human Rights Situation before Canadian Parliament
During the hearing before Canadian legislators, blogger Nguyen Van Hai (aka Dieu Cay), presented Vietnam’s violations regarding press freedom, freedom of expression and harassments against prisoners of conscience and democracy activists.
Mr. Hai called on the Canadian government to voice to demand Vietnam to release all prisoners of conscience.
Also attending the hearing, Ms. Khue Tu, member of Vietnamese Canadian Human Rights Committee presented her own report on Vietnam’s human rights violations. She called on the Canadian legislators to adopt Vietnamese political prisoners as American and German lawmakers have made.
Blogger Ta Phong Tan in Hunger Strike since May 13, Health Condition Worsened
Blogger Ta Phong Tan has conducted hunger strike since May 13 and her health is very poor now, said her younger sister Ta Minh Tu, who visited the blogger in prison on June 3.
Miss Tan has been in hunger strike for the 24th day to protest inhuman treatment of the prison’s authorities.
This is the third hunger strike of the activist who is co-founder of the Free Journalists Club.
Ms. To called domestic activists and foreign diplomats to alert Vietnamese public and international community to pay attentions to her sister’s case.
Mai Dinh Tam Sends Petition to Appeal His Imprisonment
Mai Dinh Tam, whose nephew was killed by local policemen, has filed a petition to appeal his 15-month imprisonment for allegation of conducting public disorders in the day when his nephew was beaten to death.
Tam said he did not incite the protest of thousands of local residents against the brutal killing of his nephew, as the court concluded.