Monthly Archives: June 2013

In solidarity with Dr. Cu Huy Ha Vu, Pham Thanh Nghien continued her second hunger strike

Như Ngọc (Danlambao) – Dr. Cu Huy Ha Vu’s hunger strike to protest against the prison system of the communist regime has received waves of support around. Recently, Ms. Pham Thanh Nghien, a former prisoner of conscience and is an initiated member of the Citizen Declaration of Our Freedom group has started another hunger strike to express her admiration for, and solidarity with,  Dr. Cu Huy Ha Vu.

Reportedly, her first hunger strike lasted from June 16-19, and her second hunger strike starts today, 6/20/2013. Before starting the second hunger strike, Pham Thanh Nghien had experienced a severe stomach upset due to food poisoning.
As a former prisoner of conscience, she had also been detained at the No. 5 prison in Thanh Hoa province, where Dr. Vu is being jailed. Therefore, Pham Thanh Nghien knows very well what Dr. Vu is facing with in such a harsh, notorious prison of the communist regime. Her hunger strike is to confirm the message: No one has to travel alone in the journey seeking for Freedom and Justice even though he or she is in the dark valley of prison.
Participating in a prolonged hunger strike while still carrying many illnesses has degraded her health visibly. Pham Thanh Nghien refused to discuss her health issue for fearing it may cause troubles and worries to her family members. However, Dân Làm Báo has learned she currently weighs only 37 kg or 81 lbs.
Recently, the Vietnamese communist regime has fully utilized the power of its state-controlled media outlets to forecast video clips, pictures and other information to denigrate the ongoing hunger strike of Dr. Cu Huy Ha Vu. In this regard, Pham Thanh Nghien said she was not surprised with the nature of deceiving of the state-controlled media. While in No. 5 prison – Thanh Hoa, she had seen reporters from state-controlled media brought their cameras to the camp to stage propaganda with captured images of a camp warden fed a sick prisoner with rice congee. In fact, that prisoner was unexpectedly ordered to play the role of a sick inmate.
This is not the first time Pham Thanh Nghien participates in a hunger strike. Previously, she had been on hunger strike many times while detained in No. 5 prison to protest against the communist prison system.
It is expected that her second hunger strike in solidarity with Dr. Vu will end on 06/23/2013. Let’s hope that nothing wrong will happen to her.

Dinh Nhat Uy arrested for “failing to convince Dinh Kha to plead guilty?”

Vietnamese version: Trương Minh Đức / Translated by Như Ngọc (Danlambao) – Since the trial of two students, Dinh Nguyen Kha and Nguyen Phuong Uyen, on May 16, 2013 in Long An city, public opinion at home and abroad is impressed with the “fighting spirit” of two young patriotic students, which placed the communist regime in Vietnam in an awkward position for spreading the so-called “the confession of two young students” before the trial. The communist security office had broadcasted on national television such “confession program” for several days before the trial and claimed to achieve a victory over the propaganda war… suddenly, what had amazingly happened at the trial in Long An city on May 16 proved whatever the communist party had carefully staged were ridiculous. Dinh Nguyen Kha and Phuong Uyen Nguyen bravely stood upright. Looking straight at the faces of those who were appointed to act as judges, the two students took turn to say loudly “I am a patriot, I am not against my people, I resist the communist party and it is not a crime.”

The trial has passed for almost a month, then around 1:30 pm, June 15, 2013, the communist authorities dispatched more than 30 police personnel to surround the house of Mrs. Nguyen Thi Kim Lien, Nguyen Dinh Kha’s mother. While she and her husband were not home, police used power shears to cut the door locks, broke into the house and ransacked it, and took away many items they wanted. In the meantime, the search warrant was imposed on a different address, which is the private residence of Dinh Nhat Uy. Police served a 3-month-detention order to Dinh Nhat Uy on charges of “abusing democratic freedoms or infringe upon interests of the state, civil organizations,” Article 258 of the Penal Code.
The heartless regime wanted to eradicate the life of Mrs. Nguyen’s family!
Since the arrest of Dinh Nguyen Kha, local police have been harassing the family with many tricks; they had often made calls to the customers of Dinh Nhat Uy, those who came to his shop to repair their computer. Police threatened Uy’s customers if they do business with the family of “reactionary” people they would have to watch out for their safety! As a result, customers became afraid to do business with Dinh Nhat Uy. Suffering operating loss and taxes, Uy closed his shop to find other means to make a living. Graduated college as an Information Technology engineer, he finally had to give up his field to do the works of a farmer – growing vegetables, fishing, etc. to help his mother supply foods to his younger brother in prison.
One day before his arrest, Uy’s mother prepared foods for a visit to his younger brother, so his relatives (uncles, aunts, cousins…) came over to comfort his family. Uy told his relatives that the local authorities have isolated his family economically. His mother must sell family-grown bananas and vegetables at the local market to feed Kha in prison. Being unemployed, he made a trip to Saigon for a plan to republish about 400 units of two technical books on how to repair copy machines, of which he is a co-author. He hoped to generate some income from the proceeding to help his mother keep his younger brother survived in prison, but a publisher turned down his deal saying the books are not allowed to be republished for bearing his name, “NHAT UY,” as a co-writer.
From hostage to prisoner.
Since the communist authorities have found that Uyen and Kha’s family had filed the appeals on behalf of their children, Uy said that “someone” had repeatedly asked him to convince his younger brother to plead guilty in the upcoming appeal court in order to be pardoned. They also explained that, on one hand, if his brother would plead guilty, Uy could do his business as usual. On another hand, if his brother will continue to plead not guilty causing them to lose face with public opinion and the international community, then they will increase prison term by adding new charges resulted from the “ongoing investigation of possession of fireworks,” which can be accused as an act of “terrorism.” Uy turned a deaf ear to their honey promises, and a stone face to their intimidating threats. He has strongly supported his brother’s acts of patriotism by posting the slogan “China, get out of the Southeast Asia Sea” on his Facebook account. Now, Uy is facing the charge of violating Article 258 of the Penal Code, being detained for 3 months, and will possibly receive a sentence from 2 to 7 years in prison plus a few years of probation for:
“Abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon interests of the State and civil institutions,” with such accuses, the questions must be raised: “Has Uy harmed the interests of which State or citizens?” Or “Is the Vietnamese communist party just doing everything possible to protect the interests of the Chinese people and the Chinese communist regime?
Article 258 is now becoming a “tail” of Article 88 of the Penal Code because it provides the communist party a ridiculously powerful mean to arrest or detain anyone who dares to criticize the totalitarian dictatorship in Vietnam today.

Letter to my son

Phan, my dearest son,
I had not intended to carry you to the demonstration today. My short-legged man is just 3.5 years old, and I just wanted to take you to places like Unity Park, where you would enjoy ferris wheels and hobby-horse. Or I would like to take you to Yoyogi Park, where I could find you pick up petals of cherry blossoms, applying them on your cheeks rosy and softer than the blossoms themselves. So far I have kept trying to protect your sensitive soul from all things related to violence, even though it might be just a gun shown in a cartoon image.
Demonstration in Vietnam, however peaceful it is, is in many senses still a dangerous thing to do. And even if nothing serious enough may happen, I still don’t want you to see your mum and other protestors surrounded, pushed, hustled, chased away by bunches of policemen and quick reaction officers equipped with guns and clubs. All of them, with their murderous and vigilant look, have no bearing with the policemen you used to see on street posters.
When we lived in Japan, you once asked, “What does a policeman do on streets, mum?” I replied that his duty is to protect people, including you and me, and to control wicked guys. You then said, “Mum, I love policemen,” as innocently as when you said you love your grandparents, mum and dad, trees, birds and lions. If I took you to the demonstration today, I would have to make it clear to you that it’s not that anybody or anything suppressed by policemen is bad. In fact I’d like to tell you this later, when your pure and loving soul is capable of realising it is not true that everybody around you loves you back, and that there are often unjustifiable exceptions.
Moreover, I don’t want to carry you with me today because demonstration is when you voice your opinion, and you should not join it just because others (your mummy included) do.
That’s why I told you yesterday evening, “Tomorrow you’ll be with grandparents, for I’ll join the demonstration against Chinese invaders.” Though you were eager to visit grandparents’ where you can play geometric puzzles, painting pictures with sister Din and brother Tom, you asked, “What is demonstat, mom? Why do you demonstat against China, mom?”
So I took a map, showing you our country of Vietnam, and I said, “Chinese bullies invaded our land, hurting our Vietnamese people. China is bigger than us, but we have to raise our voice once China commits wrongdoings. Your uncles, your aunties, and I will demonstrate to speak this out.”
You said, “China is so bad, so ugly, mum. We won’t be their friend any more. We’ll make the sharks eat China.” “Oh, no, don’t be so aggressive, son. We’ll just demonstrate peacefully, we don’t use force.” You thought in a while, and you said, “I want to go demonstat with you, mum.” “Don’t you want to visit sister Din and brother Tom? Joining a demonstration gets you tired, and it is so dangerous as when you touch a knife or electrictity.” “Is it, mum? But I want to go demonstat with you.”
You woke me up this morning, and you declined to take breakfast because you wanted to go “demonstat” immediately. No, son. Before fufilling a citizen’s obligation, we would have to fulfill our personal duties. I should feed you, and you should eat up as a good child always does.
Going to demonstration today was more tiring than I had expected. The temperature reached up to 36-37 Celsius degrees and it was a sweltering, deadly hot day. At first you and I went around just to find a place to put our motorbike, and finally we found one which was quite far from the demonstration site, then we joined with the protestors, and meandered through tens of streets. I wondered why policemen loved to hustle protestors into the most parching streets so that they themselves had to perspire following them. The weather was too hot, streets too crowded, and I had to carry you in my arms, then on my back, for your safety. My casual shoes broke down last night, so I must take high-heel shoes this morning. I went bareheaded under the sun, you did not carry a flag or a banner. We both did not look professional, did us? But we succeeded in covering a three-hour walk under parching sun with “professional protestors.”
We should thank uncle Dino, who had to keep his hand off the beloved camera to carry you on his back on a long road. Thank miss Codet, who helped me take care of you. Thanks to a couple on Phung Hung Street who did not join the protest but gave you a bottle of cool water. Thanks to aunties and uncles whose names were unknown to us and who gave you drink when you were thirsty, handed you paper fan when you got hot, and smiled at us. Thanks to nearly one thousand people in Hanoi and around two thousand ones in Saigon, who went to the streets today for demonstration, holding aloft banners, slogans and the national flag, singing out loud the national anthem, shouting slogans, etc., despite potential trouble and danger they would have to face. Thanks also to the policeman who pushed us back with his club as part of his duty, and then acted on his instinct when he held my arm back to keep us from falling.
Uncle Tie Suc said today, “In 2007 you went for demonstration alone. This year, you have a boy with you.” When I joined the 2007 protest, you were less than one month old. This time, you are a man of 1.05 metre, a man aware that it is bad of a big country to bully smaller nations. And you yourself decided to go with me in the demonstration. Although you must have been very tired, you were one of the last people to leave the protest, rather than crying, insisting on going home halfway. That was what I often told you, “Once you do something, you must do it to the end. If it’s hard, you must try until you can’t do anymore try.” I respect you, and I’m so proud of you, my short-legged man!
During the demonstration you spoke very little. It seemed you were tired. Perhaps the crowd, the fists, the clubs and the guns… all such things were new to you and they shocked you. Or perhaps your naïve 3.5 year-old mind did not absorb today’s happenings, so you just wanted to be an “observer.”
But after the nap, you suddenly said, “Mum, I’ll never let China bully my brother Tom and you.”
My dear, still I don’t want you to go demonstrating. I hope when you grow up, no matter where you are living – Vietnam or any other country in this world – you are free to voice your opinions, your wishes, and you don’t have to launch street protests under severe weather, among suppressors equipped with guns and clubs. You’ll never have to hesitantly confront all kinds of pressures, never have to consider your security every time you decide to voice your opinions, as my generation always did. Because I hope that when that day comes, the society we’re now living in will evolve to the point that the human right to expression will be taken for granted, although the ideas expressed may differ from those of a community or a group.
I love you and respect you even when you don’t obey me. So, if what you really wish for is innocuous to your life and does not intrude into others’ legitimate rights, then you can do that even when I don’t want you to.
Will you, my dear?
Hanoi, June 5th, 2011
Your mum Phuong

Police continued to stop and assault blogger Vi Hoang Nguyen

Như Ngọc (Danlambao) – Late evening on June 7, 2013, blogger Vi Hoang Nguyen and her friend, Mr. Cac Vuong Pham Le, were stopped and violently assaulted by police on To Ky street, district 12, Saigon.

Reportedly, the five police men involved in the attack are those who have recently monitored the blogger and her family members for days. One of them rides a motorcycle with the plate number 51V2 1009.
The blogger said, when her friend and she arrived at district 12 five police on three motorcycles suddenly stopped their motorcycles and brutally pounded their heads with motorcycle helmets.
She fell to the ground but the police continued to beat her. She rushed to her cell phone to call home for help and they immediately grabbed the phone and smashed it.
After breaking her phone, five police men continued to beat her with the helmets until she became unconscious.When local people appeared they left the crime scene.
Currently, the blogger was taken to a hospital for examination and treatment of the wounds.
This is not the first time blogger Vi Hoang Nguyen was stopped and assaulted by police on the street at night time. Since participating in patriotic activities and writing pro-democracy writings, she and her family members have been repeatedly assaulted by police.
On February 2, 2011, the police created a deadly motorcycle accident by hitting her motorcycle at night time; she fell on her face and broke 7 teeth.

On March 08, 2013, the International Freedom of Expression Exchange network (IFEX) named blogger Vi Hoang Nguyen one of seven women free expression champions for their efforts to fight for freedom of speech around the world.