Tag Archives: Vietnam

Vietnam: Interview: ‘His Resolve is Unflinching’

January 30, 2018

Dissident Vietnamese lawyer Nguyen Van Dai is shown after he was attacked by government-linked assailants, Dec. 6, 2015.

Vietnamese dissident and lawyer Nguyen Van Dai, founder of the Committee for Human Rights in Vietnam, was taken into custody in December 2015 after leaving his Hanoi home to meet with European Union representatives who were researching human rights abuses in the one-party communist country. Authorities have extended Dai’s time in detention since then, and he remains behind bars without having been brought to trial. On Monday, Jan. 29, Dai’s wife Vu Minh Khanh visited her husband in prison, and later spoke to RFA’s Vietnamese Service.

Vu Minh Khanh:  Yesterday, Jan. 29, we spoke for 30 minutes using phones and separated by glass. I am very worried about him because I know he is under a lot of stress after eight and a half months in the detention center. He is not allowed to tell me what sort of stress he is under, though. I just asked him if he was stressed, and he said, “Of course, it’s a prison. It goes without saying.”

At present my husband has many health problems of concern. First, he suffers from bone pain because he has to sleep on a cement block while the weather in Vietnam changes dramatically with the seasons. This winter especially has been very cold, while the upcoming spring is expected to be very wet. It is now as cold in his cell as it is outside, because there are two windows through which the wind comes in.

The prison is designed in an evil way to torture the prisoners.






Vietnam: Vietnam govt under fire for denying detainees lawyers

January 15, 2018

Detained activists being denied access to legal representation, rights group says

Vietnam govt under fire for denying detainees lawyers

A rights group in Vietnam has accused the communist government of illegally preventing its detained members access to legal representation.

The Brotherhood for Democracy, an independent civil society organization in Vietnam, said the government has harassed, arrested and accused nine of its members of “conducting activities aimed at overthrowing the state.”

Among them are Christian Lawyer Nguyen Van Dai, detained since December 2015, and Pastor Nguyen Trung Ton who was arrested last July.

“Nearly all were prevented from meeting defense attorneys their families had hired to act on their behalf. There were instances where members were forced to refuse to see their assigned lawyers,” the organization said in a statement on Jan. 9.

Dai’s wife Vu Minh Khanh accused authorities of preventing three assigned lawyers from seeing he husband by holding on to his letters.

On December 12 he wrote to tell her that the investigation against him and five other members had ended but she was not given the correspondence until 15 days later.

“This is a trick of Vietnamese authorities to prevent him meeting his lawyers quickly,” Khanh said.

After she received the letter, she said a man called her and said he had been appointed by authorities to represent her husband since Dai did not have a lawyer when in fact he did.



Vietnam: Vietnam blogger ‘Mother Mushroom‘ appeal rejected

January 5, 2018

LS Võ An Đôn1

Vietnam blogger ‘Mother Mushroom‘ appeal rejected

A Vietnamese court on Thursday rejected the appeal of prominent blogger known as “Mother Mushroom” who is serving a 10-year sentence for anti-state propaganda, days after one of her lawyers was disbarred in a case that has drawn global ire.

Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh was sentenced to a decade in jail in June, a heavy term decried by rights groups that accuse the communist government of waging a harsh crackdown against critics this year.

Her appeal was denied by a court in the southern city of Nha Trang, her lawyer Ha Huy Son said, at a heavily-guarded trial closed to foreign media.

“The sentence is very unfair and biased. They argued that Quynh confessed her wrongdoings, but I think it‘s groundless and not in accordance with the law,” Son told AFP after the half-day trial.

A few days before her appeal, Vo An Don, one of her lawyers, was disbarred in a move he said was politically motivated.

“The main reason was that I had participated in defending the rights of several poor people and prisoners of conscience. The authorities might have hated me for that,” Don told AFP.

The bar association in nearby Phu Yen province accused Don of providing false information to foreign media, abusing his right to free speech by spreading propaganda and distorting the truth, according to the state-run Thanh Nien newspaper.




http://www.acatfrance.fr/actualite/van-dai (FRANCAIS)


Vietnam: Harsh Prison Terms for Video Journalist and Blogger as Vietnam Cracks Down on Free Expression

December 8, 2017

(Lawyer Vo An Don ̣(fourth from the right), with a group of people waiting outside the courtroom during Mother Mushroom’s appeal trial. Source: Facebook page of Vo An Don.)

A court in central Vietnam sentenced video journalist Nguyen Van Hoa to seven years in prison on November 27, 2017, for reporting on environmental protests in central Vietnam as part of an ongoing crackdown on citizen journalism.

Only three days later, blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, widely known as Me Nam or Mother Mushroom, saw a court uphold her 10-year prison sentence for Facebook posts about human rights and environmental issues involving the police and other state forces.

Hoa, 22, was accused of “conducting propaganda against the state” under Article 88 of Vietnam’s Penal Code. The charge was related to his reporting on protests that followed an environmental disaster which led to tonnes of dead fish washing up across Vietnam’s central coast in April 2016.

Hoa was the first person in Vietnam to use a flycam drone to broadcast live footage of protests outside the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel plant which was revealed to be the cause behind the toxic spill. His footage of more than 10,000 people outside the Formosa gates went viral across social media.

One of her lawyers, Vo An Don, a prominent human rights lawyer, had his law license revoked by the Phu Yen Bar Association on November 26, four days before her trial. He was barred from representing her during the appeals trial.






https://www.ouest-france.fr/europe/ue/vietnam-le-parlement-europeen-veut-la-liberation-de-nguyen-van-hoa-5446943 (FRANCAIS)


Vietnam/HRW: EU Should Press for Release of Political Prisoners

November 28, 2017


The European Union should press the Vietnamese government to release all political prisoners and detainees; end repression of freedom of speech, association, and assembly; and take steps to end police brutality, Human Rights Watch said today. The EU and Vietnam will hold their 7th annual bilateral human rights dialogue in Hanoi on December 1, 2017.

The Vietnamese authorities have previously used the occasion of the human rights dialogue to target activists. In December 2015, prominent human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai was arrested on his way to meet the EU delegation in Hanoi during the 5th EU-Vietnam human rights dialogue. He remains in detention awaiting trial. In November 2017, police detained and interrogated rights activists Nguyen Quang A, Pham Doan Trang, and Bui Thi Minh Hangafter they met with an EU delegation.

“The EU should publicly press Vietnam to release Nguyen Van Dai and all other political prisoners, and amend its penal code so that it is impossible for Communist Party-controlled courts to imprison critics,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “This dialogue should lead to concrete commitments on rights and not just be yet another talk shop.”







Vietnam: Vietnam Rights Lawyer Threatened With ‘Discipline’ After Online Comment

August 23, 2017

Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (L), also known as Mother Mushroom, stands trial at a courthouse in the city of Nha Trang in south-central Vietnam's  Khanh Hoa province, June 29, 2017.

An official lawyer’s organization in central Vietnam’s Phu Yen province has threatened to “discipline” an attorney known for representing defendants in political cases after he suggested that most members of his profession use bribery to influence trials.

Vo An Don, a Phu Yen-based lawyer who has defended hundreds of members of underrepresented communities on a pro-bono basis, told RFA’s Vietnamese Service Wednesday that he received a letter from the Phu Yen Lawyer’s Association on Aug. 18 informing him he would “face discipline” for posting a comment on Facebook which said lawyers in Vietnam regularly use payoffs to win cases for their clients.

“I have served as a lawyer in cases for poor people and political cases, and I always tell the truth,” he said.

“That’s why the authorities really hate me—because I have said things that no other lawyer dares to say. Therefore, they are trying to take revenge on me.”

According to Don, the central Vietnam Lawyer’s Association recently sent a letter to lawyer groups at the provincial level, banning their members from posting “lies” on social media.

“But nobody tells the truth—they only lie,” he said.

“The truth is so ugly, they are afraid of having it revealed.”

Don said that Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice recently issued a decree that bans lawyers from making comments they deem to be “untrue,” and which grants permission to lawyer’s associations at the provincial level to revoke law licenses—a measure that previously could only be taken with the approval of the Vietnam Lawyer’s Association.




Vietnam: Vigils mark 600 days of Christian lawyer’s imprisonment without trial

August 8, 2017

Nguyen Van Dai

Activists in London, Dublin and Prague marked the 600th day of the unjust imprisonment of Vietnamese human rights lawyer, Nguyen Van Dai on 7 August with a solidarity action.

600 lines were drawn in chalk on the path leading to the Vietnamese embassy in London, to mark 600 days of Nguyen Van Dai’s detention without trial since December 2015, along with the hashtag #FreeNguyenVanDai. Solidarity actions were also performed by members of Van Lang in Prague and Front Line Defenders in Dublin.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s (CSW’s) East Asia Team Leader Benedict Rogers said: “CSW is deeply concerned that lawyer Nguyen Van Dai has been unjustly detained for over 18 months and that so little is known about his current condition, and how he has been treated in detention. Mr Dai has been a vocal champion for religious freedom and human rights in Vietnam who has dedicated his life to securing justice and freedom for all. Rather than being branded a criminal, the government should recognise the positive role he has played in supporting and defending the most vulnerable in society. We call for his immediate release and urge the Vietnamese government to respect and protect the right to freedom of religion or belief and other human rights in Vietnam.”

Nguyen Van Dai, a Christian, and his colleague, Le Thu Ha, were arrested on 16 December 2015 and were subsequently charged with ‘spreading propaganda against the state’ under Article 88 of the Vietnamese penal code. Since then, the two of them have been held in prison without trial, with limited contact with the outside world.

CSW recently learned that the charges against Dai and Ha have been changed to ‘carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration’ under Article 79 of the Vietnamese penal code. This carries possible penalties of 12-20 years imprisonment, a life sentence, or capital punishment.