Trương Minh Đức (Danlambao) * Translated by Jasmine Tran – Early on 11/10/13, Mr Do Ty, Do Thi Minh Hanh’s father, arrived in Hanoi to go to Thanh Xuan Prison (Camp 3), at Xuan Duong in Thanh Oai District, Hanoi. Five other friends and Mr Vo Van Buu also accompanied him. During the visit with his daughter, he was reportedly shattered when Hanh recounted:
The prison authority had transferred Minh Hanh and Ms Mai Thi Dung to the North through prisoner transport. During the trip Hanh was handcuffed, fettered and left in the coachwork. She fainted and regained consciousness many times on the 1700 kilometre trip to the North. Ms Mai Thi Dung did not fare any better; she also fainted many times on the rough long trip from the South to the North. In addition, being on hunger strike since 1/10/2013 had already worsened her health. Both of Dung and Hanh were transferred in poor health conditions; they were starving and very ill.
It is hard to believe that the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam could perpetrate such inhuman acts on the two female prisoners, in front of a world where abused women are supposed to be protected. But then it is that same government that is afraid of these women’s voices asking for the right to freedom, democracy, and freedom of religion and belief. This government has acted vengefully, by exile and torturing these women, despite the outrage of the public.
Mai Thi Dung (holding a milk box)
Đỗ Thị Minh Hạnh (Taken during the previous visit)
According to Mr Vo Van Bưu, Dung’s husband, Dung said she would rather die than to accept the prison authority’s suggestion to “confess”. From the visit on 10/10/2013, Dung has reached on her 11th day of the hunger strike and her life is at stake.
Dung could not walk unsupported anymore; she was carried on the back of another prisoner to see her husband. She could not talk, only murmured and her husband had to put his ear near her mouth to hear her speak. On 11/10/13 (one day after Dung met her husband), when Mr Do Ty visited Do Thi Minh Hanh, Hanh informed that Mai Thi Dung had just been brought to the hospital for the intensive care as Dung had fainted of exhaustion.
A group of friends visiting Hanh and Dung ( FB Bùi Thị Minh Hằng)
Do Thi Minh Hanh’s father also let us know that recently the prison officers are “proposing” Hanh and Dung to sign the “confession of guilt” in order to be “released early”. He also disclosed that he himself was advised by officers to push Hanh to “confess” to acquire her freedom…
At the visit Mr Ty could see Hanh was very thin, but her mind remains very strong and resolute in what she is fighting for. He said he is very pleased about what Hanh has done to help and protect poor exploited workers, the many farmers whose lands were unlawfully seized, and other social injustices. Before leaving, Mr Do Ty comforted Hanh and told her he has always known her to do right, all her family and friends love her and support her, and that he would stop her if he saw her doing the wrong thing. He said: “I am very proud of you, my daughter!”
Mr Do Ty – Do Thi Minh Hanh’s father