Vietnam Human Rights Defenders’ Weekly June 8-14, 2015: Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience Present Vietnam’s Communist Government’s Inhumane Treatment before U.S. Congress
Defenders’ Weekly | Jun 14, 2015
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Former prisoners of conscience Truong Minh Tam, Nguyen Manh Hung and Nguyen Van Loi presented Vietnam’s communist government harassments against prisoners and human rights activists.
On June 6, prisoner of conscience Do Van Hoa completed his four-year imprisonment for allegation of “anti-state propaganda.”
The Vietnam Blogger Network voiced concern over the hunger strike of blogger Ta Phong Tan which aims to protest severe prison conditions in the Thanh Hoa province-based Prison No. 5.
Many people were reportedly disappeared after being forced to work in police stations. In the most recent case, Vu Ha Duan in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong disappeared after being summoned to a local police station. His family reported to the police and asked for assistance, however, the local authorities refused to take measures to search him.
Political Activist Do Van Hoa Completes His Four-year Sentence
On June 6, prisoner of conscience Do Van Hoa completed his four-year imprisonment. He will be still under three-year under house arrest.
Four years ago, the Bac Giang province-based resident was arrested and tried with allegation of anti-state propaganda after voicing to protest the illegal seizure of his family’s land.
Mr. Dinh Van Nhuong and Mr. Nguyen Kim Nhan were also arrested and imprisoned together with Mr. Hoa.
During the imprisonment, Mr. Hoa had been put in solitary cell and treated severely. His food had been reduced by half from the prison’s norm.
Danlambao: Tù nhân lương tâm Đỗ Văn Hoa mãn hạn tù
Lam Dong Province-based Resident Disappeared after Being Detained to Police Station
Three children Vu Ha Duan, Vu Dai Phong Nha and Vu Dai Hao Kiet in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong were detained to a local police station for interrogation about their role in throwing stones in gardens of local residents.
During the interrogation, Duan was reportedly to make coercive confession. After working in the police station, Duan went missing.
Duan’s family reported about his disappearance to the police in Loc Chau commune. However, the local police refused, saying the family has to search him.
FVPOC’s Open Letter to H.E. Christoph Strasser, High Commissioner for Human Rights Policy & Humanitarian Aids of Germany
We, the Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience, warmly welcome you to visit Vietnam to find his understanding of human rights, a part of the German government’ efforts to protect and promot human rights worldwide.
Afternoon June 9, 2015, Mr. Pham Ba Hai, coordinator of FVPoC, left his house for the appointment with you at Germany General Consulate, a group of security police agents of four levels, including ones of Public Security Ministry, of Hochiminh city, of Hoc Mon dictrict and local authorities, keeping watching in the front of his house, chased and stopped his motorbike and asked you to come back home. A day earlier, security agents have come and informed him that he will be forbidden to meet the Commissioner of Germany.
The block is the third time in the year that Mr. Hai was subjected to before meetings with international officials. The first time on the occasion of International Parliamentary Union 132nd meeting in Hanoi, he was stopped on the way to the airport (Mar 28, 2015). The second is forbidden to leave the house during the U.S. delegation visiting Hanoi for human rights dialogue (May 5, 2015).
Vietnam authorities, a member of the UN human rights council, are currently detained at least 95 prisoners of conscience in a harsh condition, aiming at losing their heart to fighting for respect for human rights and democracy. Our latest report on May 21, 2015, showed that the security forces conducted 9 assaults, injuring at least 17 human rights defenders. In addition, the report human rights violation 2014 is the indictment long enough to drive Vietnam authorities out of the UN human rights Council.
FCPoC , with 106 members, those people who had been in prison for the implementation of fundamental rights of humans by peaceful methods, ask you, under your mandate, to demand the Vietnam authorities to end attacks to human rights defender and free all the prisoners of conscience as criteria to improve human rights during the process of signing treaties and economic assistance between Germany and Vietnam dictators.
FVPoC Exercutive Board
Co-chair: Dr. Nguyen Dan Que, Catholic Priest Phan Van Loi.
Advisory Council: Ven. Thich Khong Tanh
Coordinators: Pham Ba Hai (MBE), Lawyer Nguyen Van Dai, Pastor. Nguyen Trung Ton,
Spokesman: Pham Chi Dung (Ph.D.)
German Commissioner Meets with Jailed Human Rights Lawyer Le Quoc Quan
Mr. Christophe Strässer, commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the German Federal Foreign Office, has recently met with human rights lawyer Le Quoc Quan in a Quang Nam province-based prison where he is serving a 30-month sentence due to a fabricated tax evasion allegation.
The meeting was about 30 minutes and Mr. Quan was very emotional, Mr. Strässer noted.
It was part of Mr. Strässer’s trip to the southern and central regions.
Mr. Strässer visited Vietnam on June 3-9. Along with meeting with state officials, he met with a number of representatives of local independent social organizations.
During the meeting with Mr. Strässer in Hanoi on June 4, blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (aka Me Nam or Mushroom Mother,) co-founder of the Vietnam Blogger Network reported the recent brutal attack of Vietnamese police against 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.
Ms. Quynh also reported the progress of the Campaign to Promote Human Rights in 2015.
Commissioner Strässer said that during official talks with senior officials from the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security where he raised concerns about 23 cases of arbitrary detention as well as the recent brutal assault against Hanoi-based activist Nguyen Chi Tuyen.
During his stay in Hanoi, Mr. Strässer met with Dr. Nguyen Quang A, human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and blogger Nguyen Chi Tuyen. German Ambassador Jutta Frasch to Vietnam and Counselor for politics and human rights Felix Schwarz also attended the meeting.
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, adding the two sides still have big differences in human rights.
in recent years, Vietnam has big progress in human rights, however, the country still has to improve its human rights records, especially in civil and political rights, Commissioner Strässer noted.
Meanwhile, Mr. Pham Ba Hai, coordinator of the Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience, was barred by Saigon police from going to meet with Commissioner Strässer at the Ho Chi Minh City-based German General Consulate on June 9. A day earlier, security agents have come and informed him that he will be forbidden to meet the Commissioner of Germany.
Vietnam and Germany set up diplomatic relations 40 years ago. In 2011, the two countries elevated their ties to strategic partnership.
Currently, Germany is one of leading economic partners of Vietnam in the EU.
The Network of Vietnamese Bloggers Voices Concerns about Hunger Strike of Blogger Ta Phong Tan
On June 9, the Network of Vietnamese Blogger issued a statement to voice its concern about the hunger strike of blogger Ta Phong Tan and her health conditions.
As from May 13, 2015, blogger Ta Phong Tan has gone on hunger strike to protest against the ill-treatment of political prisoners by the wardens of Prison No. 5, Yen Dinh district, Thanh Hoa, which is under the Ministry of Public Security.
Three weeks later, in a family visit on June 3, 2015, Tạ Phong Tần confirmed this to her family and was determined that she would continue the hunger strike.
This is Tạ Phong Tần’s third hunger strike in protest at prison guards’ harsh and abusive treatment and discrimination against political prisoners.
It is necessary to be reminded that a Falun Gong practitioner in Vietnam, Mr. Vũ Hồng Tố, was let to die last December after his hunger strike to oppose the 5-year sentence of imprisonment imposed on him.
The Vietnamese bloggers who advocate for democracy and freedom, said they will not let the same thing happen to blogger Tạ Phong Tần and all other Vietnamese prisoners.
The Network of Vietnamese Bloggers asserts that:
– The harsh jail condition and other discriminatory treatment against prisoners of conscience in Vietnam constitute a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
– The abandonment and solitary confinement of those who oppose the prison’s ill-treatment policy have seriously violated the International Convention of Human Rights.
The Network of Vietnamese Bloggers hereby requests that:
We consider the hunger strike of prisoner of conscience Tạ Phong Tần as a resistant act that should be promoted and supported everywhere.
We will speak out against and call for publicizing prison condition and treatment meted out to prisoners of conscience.
We will call on the international community to care about the condition of Tạ Phong Tần and other prisoners of conscience.
Let us speak out and act urgently to protect blogger Tạ Phong Tần – the indomitable woman of the movement fighting for democracy in Vietnam.
Haiphong City-based Blogger Pham Thanh Nghien Declares to Conduct One-day Hunger Strike to Support Ta Phong Tan
On June 11, prominent activist Pham Thanh Nghien from Vietnam’s northern city of Haiphong declared that she will conduct one-day hunger strike to support blogger Ta Phong Tan, who has fasted since May 13 in Thanh Hoa province-based Prison No. 5 to protest the prison’s inhumane behaviors.
Miss Nghien, who is a former political prisoner, is under very poor health conditions caused by severe conditions in prisons where she served the four-year sentence for conducting anti-state propaganda.
Nghien’s hunger strike is a part of the second phase of the Human Rights Campaign 2015 which aims to support Vietnam’s prisoners of conscience.
She expressed her hope that the Vietnamese public and the international community will pay attentions to the hunger strike of Miss Tan as they did in cases of legal expert Cu Huy Ha Vu and prominent blogger Nguyen Van Hai (aka Dieu Cay.)
PhamThanhNghien: Dẫu chỉ một ngày
Land Petitioner Arrested in Hanoi, Brought to Unknown Direction
On June 9, a group of dozens of land petitioners nationwide gathered near the parliament’s building in a bid to meet with legislators and present their case on being treated injustice. However, security forces detained them to a police station in Ha Dong district, about 15 km away from the city’s center.
The police arrested four but released three after several hours, and kept Mrs. Tran Thi Hai from the northern province of Ninh Binh.
So far, there has no information about Mrs. Hai’s fate.
Earlier, Hanoi police also arrested Mr. Nguyen Van Thong without informing his relatives and friends.
The Hanoi-based group of activists who have provided material for land petitioners plans to send their statement to raise concerns about the arbitrary detentions of Mrs. Hai and Mr. Thong and send to foreign diplomatic missions in Hanoi as well as international human rights bodies to ask for their voice to demand for unconditional release of the duo.
Vietnam Workers Go Strike to Demand for Right to Use Toilet
Nearly 900 workers of Japan-invested Daiwa Plastics Co. in Ho Chi Minh City went strike for ten days to protest the company’s limit of time for using toilet.
According to the company’s regulation, every worker has the right of two times to go to toilet for every 8-hour working, and the toilet opens at 9.30-10.30 AM and 2.00-3.00 PM.
The company responded by forcing the protestors to resign.
The city’s authorities said the company’s regulations are legal so the strike is illegal.
Finally, the workers had no choice but resumed working and obey the company’s rules.
Vietnam Rejects Accusation of UN Special Rapporter on Harassing Hoa Hao Buddhist, Duong Van Minh Sect, Mennonite Binh Duong and Saigon-based Lien Tri Pagoda
Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has officially turned down the accusation of the UN Special Rapporter on Vietnam’s harassments against local unsanctioned religious groups such as Hoa Hao Buddhist, Duong Van Minh Sect, Mennonite Binh Duong and Saigon-based Lien Tri Pagoda.
In the ministry’s statement, there are number of untrue facts used by the communist government in Hanoi to deny their systemic harassments against religious groups which have not registered under the country’s law, said the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Vietnam Human Rights Campaign 2015- We Are One Continues
After three months of its launching, the Vietnam Human Rights Campaign 2015- We Are One has collected 30,000 signatories.
The campaign will focus on demanding for freedom of prisoners of conscience when Vietnam is negotiating for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. In order to be member of the 12-nation TPP, Vietnam must improve human rights situation and working conditions, and allow independent trade unions.
Many activists have promoted unconditional release of bloggers Ta Phong Tan, AnhBasam and Nguyen Viet Dung and labor activists Doan Huy Chuong and Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung.
We Are One has called for candling, hunger strike and other forms of protest to share sympathy with imprisoned activists.
Family of Blogger Ta Phong Tan Goes to Visit Her in Thanh Hoa Province-based Prison
On June 12, Ms. Ta Minh Tu, a younger sister of jailed blogger Ta Phong Tan went from Bac Lieu to Thanh Hoa province to visit the prominent activist, who has conducted hunger strike since May 13.
Ms. Tu is scheduled to meet her sister in jail on June 13.
Tu said Tan’s health conditions had been worsened in the previous visit.
Given the critical situation of Miss Tan, the Amnesty International has launched an urgent campaign calling for her unconditional release.
Hearing on Vietnam’s Human Rights Violations before U.S. Congress
The office of Representative Christopher Smith issued a press release about the upcoming hearing on the human rights violations of Vietnam’s communist government before the U.S.’s Congress at 2PM of June 17.
Witnesses of the event will be former political prisoner blogger Nguyen Van Hai (aka Dieu Cay), Mrs. Doan Thi Hong Anh, whose husband died from Vietnamese police torture during interrogation, and Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, General Secretary and President of the Boat People’s SOS (BPSOS).
Activists Present Current Situations of Prisoners of Conscience in Vietnamese Prisons before U.S. Congress
Former prisoners of conscience Truong Minh Tam, Nguyen Manh Hung and Nguyen Van Loi have presented the current hard conditions in Vietnam’s prisons and inhumane treatment of prisons’ authorities against prisoners of conscience before the U.S. Congress.
They also reported a number of evidences on on-going harassments, intimidations as well as persecutions of the communist government against local political dissidents and human rights activists.
They called on the U.S. Congress to pressure on Vietnam, demanding the communist government to stop their persecutions and release all prisoners of conscience, who have suffered from inhumane treatments by prisons’ authorities.
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