[Editor’s Note: Dinh Dang Dinh is a dissident who is currently serving a 6-year sentence because he had published writings about disagreements with the leadership of the Vietnam Communist Party and called for pluralistic and asked to stop bauxite mining projects in the Central Highlands.]
Trọng Thành (RFI)/Translate by Jasmine Tran (Danlambao) – On 8/11/2013, teacher Dinh Dang Dinh was sent back to prison from the hospital where he had received cancer treatment. His family was in great shock, not realising that Mr Dinh had been moved so soon. The chemotherapy treatment for his cancer had only just started five days earlier. Mr Dinh’s health is in a very poor state.
In November 2012, teacher Dinh’s sentence of 6 years imprisonment from the Trial Court was unchanged by the Vietnamese Court, which accused him of “conducting propaganda against the State” under Article 88 of Vietnam’s Criminal Code. In September 2013, the prisoner of conscience Dinh Dang Dinh was urgently transferred to a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City for an operation to remove a cyst in his stomach.
He is now receiving stomach chemotherapy. His family has applied to the government to call off the imprisonment as he is too weak; his life at a very dangerous stage.
Below is the RFI interview with Mrs Dang Thi Dinh, teacher Dinh’s wife.
Mrs Dang Thi Dinh: This morning, at around 8, I asked the nurse for some clean patient clothes to change my husband. The nurse then told me Dinh would be discharged that day. Shocked and surprised, I hurriedly went to ask the security officers if the news was true, but they said they knew nothing about it. I ran to the doctor who performed the operation and has since taken care of him to ask: “Is that true that patient Dinh will be discharged today?”
His doctor said he had already suggested keeping Dinh back, but was not sure if his suggestion would be approved. I asked the doctor that as Dinh is very weak and the chemotherapy has just started, how he could be moved in such terribly poor health? The doctor said he has recommended that Dinh should stay in the hospital; if Dinh has to leave, he must come back to the hospital to have the chemo sessions according to the treatment calendar. I came back to my husband and told him it was likely that he would be discharged today. Returning to my rented room, I hurriedly prepared some food for him. As soon as I was back in the hospital with his bowl of rice, the prison transport was already there, and my husband had been taken to the van. I only had time to carry his clothes bag before the van took him back to the prison.
The state of his health is truly awful – he could hardly eat anything due to three-quarters of his stomach being cut off. On top of that, his cancer is now nearing the final stages, which deteriorate his body. I am afraid that, with the harsh conditions of living in a prison cell, he cannot survive.
RFI: Do you know why he has been sent back to the prison?
Mrs Dang Thi Dinh: I am not sure. The decision would have come from above. If not that, I don’t know from where, but… my husband has just started the chemotherapy five days ago. He had very bad side effects on the second day after the first chemo treatment; he repeatedly had horrendous stomach aches. I have no idea where, or whom would order this…when Dinh is so awfully sick. He is in extreme ill-health, he cannot eat very much at all, and now he is forced to leave the hospital in such a way.
I only wish that everybody, in Vietnam or abroad, would support him with your pleas so Dinh can be out of jail; or be allowed to go home; or be sent to a cancer hospital so he can receive cancer treatment while his health is rapidly deteriorating. Without any help at all, in such a state, if he returns to prison, living in hardship with no medical care or facilities, I am certain his health cannot stand for much longer.
Thank you so much to Mrs Dang Thi Dinh
Translate by Jasmine Tran