U.S. Ambassador, HRW Urged to Probe Brutal Attack against Vietnamese Activist Nguyen Chi Tuyen

nguyen chi tuyen

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In her open letter dated May 11, Senator Nguyen expressed her hope that the involvement of Ambassador Osius and the Human Rights Watch will help bring the individuals who assaulted Mr. Tuyen accountable.

The assault is supposed to be an act of retaliation ordered by the Long Bien district police for Mr. Tuyen’s efforts to advocate for democracy in Vietnam as well as environmental protection in Hanoi.

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By Vu Quoc Ngu | May 13, 2015

Vietnam-origin Senator Janet Nguyen from California has called on U.S. Ambassador Ted Osius to Vietnam and the New York-based Human Rights Watch to conduct an investigation into a brutal attack against Hanoi-based activist Nguyen Chi Tuyen.

Mr. Tuyen, a famous political dissident and human rights activist in Hanoi, was severely beaten by a group of five plainclothes agents near his private house in Long Bien district on May 11. He was hospitalized with bleeding and numerous injuries in his head and body.

In her open letter dated May 11, Senator Nguyen expressed her hope that the involvement of Ambassador Osius and the Human Rights Watch will help bring the individuals who assaulted Mr. Tuyen accountable.

The assault is supposed to be an act of retaliation ordered by the Long Bien district police for Mr. Tuyen’s efforts to advocate for democracy in Vietnam as well as environmental protection in Hanoi.

Senator Nguyen, who fled Vietnam after the communists took over the Vietnam Republic in 1975, said “the unfortunate reality is that attacks like the one committed against Mr. Tuyen have become common in Vietnam. Time and time again the Vietnamese government resorts to these repressive tactics to silence the opinions of those who contradict the government.”

“We cannot allow the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to subdue its citizens in this shameful manner,” she said.

As an independent international organization, the Human Rights Watch should investigate the attack, said Senator Nguyen from Santa Ana where millions of Vietnamese reside after fleeing the communist nation after 1975.

Tuyen, an officer of a Hanoi-based publishing house, actively participated in anti-China protests in Hanoi in the 2011-2014 period when China repeatedly violated Vietnam’s sovereignty in the East Sea.

He is among leading figures in demonstrations in Hanoi in March-April to protest the city’s plan which aims to chop down 6,700 healthy aged trees in city’s main streets.

Due to his social activities, he was summoned several times by Hanoi police for interrogation about his role in these demonstrations.

Last month, Nguyen Anh Tuan, a very active democracy advocate in Hanoi, was also severely beaten by thugs in Long Bien district where his family resides.

Along with barring government critics from going abroad and meeting with foreign diplomats, Vietnam’s communist government has often hired thugs to attack local activists and bloggers who peacefully express their opinions on the government economic mismanagement, corruption and weak response to China’s violations of the country’s sovereignty in the East Sea.

Among victims of the government-supported attacks are human rights lawyers Le Quoc Quan and Nguyen Bac Truyen, democracy advocate Nguyen Van Dai, independent journalist Truong Minh Duc, social activist Nguyen Van Son, Truong Van Dung and labor activist Tran Thi Nga.

Last week, Senator Nguyen also called on President Barack Obama to take measures to ask Hanoi to release land right activist Bui Thi Minh Hang, who is serving a three-year imprisonment due to bogus traffic offences. Ms. Hang, an outspoken government critic, is in very bad health conditions due to the bad treatment of prison’s authorities and hunger strikes she has conducted to protest the prison’s inhumane handling against prisoners.