Awkward position for Vietnam as China is biggest trading partner
Awkward position for Vietnam as China is biggest trading partner
[Editor’s Note: Dieu Cay (real name Nguyen Van Hai) is a blogger who founded Club for Free Journalists and is being persecuted by the Vietnamese government for “tax evasion” and “disseminating anti-state information and materials. He is currently serving a 12-year prison term.]
VRNs (02/07/2013) – Pacific – Duong Thi Tan, Dieu Cay’s ex-wife, and their family were informed this morning by prison guard Nguyen Dang Khoa that his supervisor, Lieutenant Colonel Le Jiang Hung, declared that “there is no need to inform an inmate’s family when he/she is ordered to be transferred to another prison camp.”
Ms Duong Thi Tan told VRNs: “They had moved Mr. Nguyen Van Hai-Dieu Cay to prison camp Tan Lam, Xuyen Moc District, Ba Ria Vung Tau, on 02/01/2013, without notifying his family at all.”
When asked how she find out about his transfer, she said, “This morning we arrived for a visitation according to our appointment. It was not until then that officials wrote on our paper stating that Mr. Nguyen Van Hai was transferred to another prison.” According to Tan, the family questioned the responsible staff at this prison and was told that in Dieu Cay’s particular case, there was no requirement that his family be notified. When Ms. Tan and family questioned the legality of the “no need to inform” rule, [the staff] were not able to provide any written documentation. In the end, Khoa declared that “Colonel Le Giang Hung had directed such action.”
A Vietnamese court sentenced Blogger Nguyen Van Hai – Dieu Cay to 12 years in prison on charges of propaganda against the state under its “state subversion” law, although it was not able to provide any evidence of his so-called crimes.
Also put under trial alongside Mr. Nguyen Van Hai was Ms. Ta Phong Tan, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison. She is currently being held at the prison in Dong Nai Z30.
Source: PV. VRNs http://www.chuacuuthe.com/?p=46602
[Editor’s Note: This is the latest news regarding the whereabouts of blogger Ta Phong Tan. A former policewoman, Ta Phong Tan started a blog titled “Justice and Truth” where she reported on police abuses. She was arrested in September 2011 and shortly thereafter, her mother Dang Thi Kim Lieng immolated herself in front of the government offices in Bac Lieu province to protest the charges against her daughter. Ta Phong Tan is currently serving a 10-year prison term.]
On the afternoon of 02/02/2013, news from a family members of political prisoners in Z30A prison camp Xuan Loc, sub camp of 05 Long Khanh, came that Ms. Ta Phong Tan was transferred two days ago from prison camp Bo La to prison camp Z30A camp in Long Khanh, Dong Nai province.
It is believed that Tan is being held in solitary confinement because many female prisoners heard Tan’s cries for help from upstairs and since there are no known prison cell on the upper level at camp Z30A, Tan must be confined in a special room. In the last few days, news regarding Tan’s whereabouts have been drawn media interest on the internet so perhaps officials have taken this step to avoid publicity.
The same source of information also mentioned that camp Z30A in Long Khanh currently holds many female prisoners belonging to the Hoa Hao Buddhism organization as well as political activists including Duong Thi Tron, Pham Thi Phuong Mai Thi Dung, Tran Thi Thuy and now Ta Phong Tan and a few female political prisoners that were transferred from the Central Highlands in the province of Dac Nong.
Prisoners’ relatives revealed that within the past week many inmates had diarrhea caused by the consumption of dirty water pumped from ponds, and unfiltered wells. Behind the four walls and barbed wires, the ailing inmates are hopelessly asking for help.
Source: Reporter Truong Minh Duc
[Editor’s Note: This is the latest news regarding the whereabouts of bloggers Dieu Cay and Ta Phong Tan. Dieu Cay is a founding member of the Club for Free Journalists and is currently serving a 12-year prison term. A former policewoman, Ta Phong Tan started a blog titled “Justice and Truth” where she reported on police abuses. She is also currently serving a 12-year prison term.]
Left: Ta Phong Tan & Dieu Cay Right: Dieu Cay’s writing: Democracy for Vietnam
Today, 28/01/2013, it was reported that the two bloggers Ta Phong Tan and Nguyen Van Hai (Dieu Cay) were transferred to the prison camp, Bo La, located in the province of Binh Duong. On the same day, at 16 o’clock, Ms. Duong Thi Tan, Dieu Cay’s ex wife and his son, Nguyen Tri Dung took the bus to go visit him. In the same bus was Ta Minh Tu, who is Ta Phong Tan’s sister.
According to Ms. Duong, Blogger Dieu Cay looked thin but was in very good spirits.
During the visit, Tu tried to give Tan a string of rosary beads so that she can pray, but prison officials disallowed it.
Tan tried to explain: “These are rosary beads, you can check very easily so why can’t it be allowed?” Ta Minh Tu added: “These beads were given by Father to help her with her prayers, nothing serious.”
At this point, a female prison guard approached them and threatened to slap Tan, saying that she had no right to speak. Tan responded that if she dared to slap then go ahead. The meeting was then interrupted and Ta Phong Tan was forcefully led back into the camp.
Having witnessed the incident, Duong Thi Tan observed that the situation was very intense and she was concerned with what will happen behind the camp walls.
Also during the visit, Duong Thi Tan found out that Blogger Dieu Cay and Ta Phong Tan were transferred to this Bo La camp on 23/01/2013. This means that although the change occurred almost a week ago, their families have not received any kind of notice from the police.
Blogger Dieu Cay also added: Early this morning (28/01/2013). Viet Khang, a dissident musician, was also transferred from camp Bo La to camp Xuan Loc, Dong Nai.
Source: Reporter Truong Minh Duc http://danlambaovn.blogspot.com/2013/01/hai-blogger-ieu-cay-va-ta-phong-tan-bi.html#more
[Editor’s Note: This is an anonymous article about Le Anh Hung and his apparently involuntary and unlawful imprisonment within a mental health institution. Hung is a blogger who is known for his writings about corruption, illegal tradings, and misuse of power among government officials. Friends and supporters of Hung suspect that documents may have been falsified in order to facilitate his detention and are pressuring the government for more answers about this situation.]
This morning, friends from the Nou FC came to the Center for Social Protection II in Vien An, Ung Hoa to visit, and they asked about the status of Le Anh Hung. They met with center director Vuong and deputy director Le Cong Vinh who answered their questions. Vuong verified that Hung was admitted yesterday after the Thanh Xuan Social Affairs Department received his application, submitted by his mother.
When asked about Hung’s health status, Vuong said, “He’s fine. The center has not given him any medication nor have we injected him with anything.” When his friends requested to see him, Vuong refused by claiming that Hung’s mother said that Hung only wants to see her. However according Tu, one of Hung’s friends, his mother did not apply nor suggest that he go anywhere.
It is a well-known fact in the online community that on his blog, Le Anh Hung has repeatedly (70 times) denounced corrupt officials, heroin smuggling, and murder cover-ups.
[Delegate] Duong Trung Quoc has received Hung’s claims and transferred them to the National Assembly for investigation and has appeased public questioning but so far no investigation of the National Assembly has been conducted. The fact that authorities in Hanoi have detained, threatened, and even kidnapped Hung has not deterred him. They have used every trick to intimidate, to silence citizens who dare to accuse officials of corruption, smuggling, or murder like Hung, but have not been able to quiet him.
The government has repeatedly created fake records to put patriotic citizens who oppose corruption in jail, rehabilitation centers, or mental health centers. Unfortunately, international human rights organizations are having a hard time proving their cases against such practices.
The case of Le Anh Hung is receiving much interest in the online community. News agencies and international organizations are preparing to go to Hung’s place of imprisonment to ask for clarification and to request for an investigation into the serious violations of human rights in Vietnam.
Bloggers and friends of Le Anh Hung are calling upon all the support groups to go visit Hung at the Center and to work with its leaders to clarify details about the nature of his unlawful imprisonment.
We will continue to offer details about this serious incident.
[Translated from source: http://danoan2012.blogspot.com]
The Vietnam Committee on Human Rights
[Editor’s note: What follows is an open letter from Le Quoc Quan, translated to English, in which he predicts that if he were ever captured and/or detained by the Vietnamese police, they would attempt to discredit him by distorting his work. This letter is his way of preemptively countering such attempts. In it, he clearly lays out his intentions, goals, and dreams for the future of Vietnam and her people. ]
As a Vietnamese citizen who is always concerned with the survival of his country and its people, I believe that only true Freedom and Democracy can lead to true emancipation, and with it, the power to develop Vietnam.
As a lawyer who opposes the current political system, I may be subject to imprisonment.
Therefore I am stating my opinions in this assay, lest my freedom will be compromised and my belief falsified.
1. I declare that my political activities as well as my written and verbal expressions remain within the boundaries of both Vietnamese and international law.
2. I do this for the benefit of no other country but Vietnam. My actions are entirely non-violent and aim to contribute to the creation of a civil society that encompasses a large population of Vietnamese, a society in which its citizens’ wishes will be acknowledged and fulfilled via true democratic procedures.
3. I have, on multiple occasions, expressed my opinions and beliefs about Freedom, Democracy and Civil Rights. I have been tirelessly protecting these values in all circumstances. However, in the case where my freedom is taken away, any announcement that can be construed against my ideals will never reflect my thinking and shall be considered baseless.
4. I wish to accept all hardships as presents that my country has given me. I am fully responsible for my own actions. For any shortcomings to my friends, I apologize. However, the use of my actions to convict, or as proofs against, others shall not be condoned nor be effective. I completely negate any evidence designed to imply that I have purposefully hurt other movements that are fighting for a new and stronger independent Vietnam.
I deeply believe in the dreams and struggles of the Vietnamese people. I also believe that in the not very distant future, we will achieve true Freedom and Democracy. All of us shall be able to exercise our right to speech and our choice to seek happiness and success right here, on the blood-soaked soil of our beloved homeland.
Le Quoc Quan, J.D.
To: Justice and Peace Committee of Bishops of Vietnam
Priests, Deacons and Religious persons, all parishioners
All people love justice, Truth, and Peace
All Domestic and International Media agencies.
We, the family of Le Quoc Quan, Le Dinh Quan and Nguyen Thi Oanh, parishioner of Vinh Hoa parish, Vinh Diocese; and currently working and attending religious activities at Thai Ha parish in Hanoi diocese. We are writing this request letter to you on the incident as follow:
Mr. Le Dinh Quan is a Catholic parishioner an entrepreneur, Director of TNHH the credit information company and rated businesses since 2004. Mrs. Nguyen Thi Oanh is the cousin of him and also his assistant. Socially they both honest and comply with the laws; in terms of religion, the Catholic morality, has always lived in the spirit of Christian life.
On the morning of October 3, 2012, about 50 police from Hanoi security office arrived Vietnam Credit company located at Building M3-M4 Nguyen Chi Than, suite 1802, Hanoi force the entire employees sitting, violent actions, they brought him outside and started combing the entire Office. They take away the whole records, original documents and computer hard drives, the accusation is made, with a point that he work for the blog “quanlambao”. Many Catholics have come to find out; the police in charge of religion stop them at the stairs.
Also on the morning of October 30, 2012, about 50 police of all sorts has arrived at his home at M11 Lang Trung, Room 409 – Lang HA Ward – Dong Da District. Hanoi read the order to arrest Mr. Le Dinh Quan and took him away. Although there were no orders to visit his home but the police ransacked the house, taking a computer and several books with allegations of violation of the Article 167 of the Penal Code with allegations of tax evasion. The truth is that his company with less than 50 employees but has to pay taxes in full and continuous do so and was listed in tax agency Dong Da District as model taxpayers not just pay enough tax but beyond too.
More seriously, on the afternoon of December 5, 2012 Hanoi police were at Mr. Le Dinh Quan home town of Vinh Hoa parish, Vinh Diocese search for his cousin, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Oanh who is two months pregnant at home to rest and take care of her father who is ill.
At present, Mr. Le Dinh Quan is detained in detention camps 3-Xa La, Ha Dong District. Mrs. Nguyen Thi Oanh still held at the detention camp No. 1-the city of Hanoi (also referred to as Hoa Lo).
Soon after the arrest, the family has request for lawyers, according to the criminal procedure code 56, investigating authorities must grant the certificate within 3 days from receipt of valid papers, but so far, the lawyers we offer are not yet certified.
The arrest and detain people who are pregnant is violation of Article 88 of the Penal Code criminal proceedings; violation of the law on the protection and care of mothers and children. In addition to believe our relatives suffer discrimination in prisons. This is violation of the Vietnam laws, serious human rights violations, violated the Charter on human rights that Viet Nam has signed.
The increasing more seriously, on the morning of December 27, 2012, lots of security personnel, police began going to the oldest brother, attorney Le Quoc Quan while he taking his children to school. Mr. Le Quoc Quan is an attorney and businessman. He is a religious person, and as members of the Committee for justice-peace in the Diocese of Vinh. He was witness to the enthusiasm of the Church through the events and Thai Ha.
We believe that clearly had a political conspiracy against our family stands behind the shady job of State agencies, they have violated numerous procedures in the proceedings while the prosecution, examine, custody status. Along with the custody numerous young adult Catholics, we believe that the authorities are for books and the stigma for people who have religion. We are pleased for the prayers of all those who love the truth, justice and peace; we call the attention of the organizations and agencies of domestic and international media about our family.
Our family would like to thank you!
Mother of Le Quoc Quan and Le Dinh Quan
Husband of Nguyen Thi Oanh
Nguyen Hoang Vi – Passing the watching eyes of the security agents who were surrounding my house to attend the trial was difficult.
The night before the appeal hearing I did not sleep because I was just afraid that if I closed my eyes to sleep I might wake up late. I laid in bed waiting for the morning light.
4:00 AM I felt insecure, restless, and worried that security police might know where I stayed and would barricade me inside. Strange noises outside of the door worried me.
I sat up, turned on the lights and my laptop to read the Bible and prayed. I repeatedly recited the passage of Peace.
5:30 AM, I opened the door and stepped outside to ensure everything was peaceful. I put on exercise clothes then ran into the street.
After my morning coffee, at about 8:00 AM I walked by the court house and saw only security agents standing around the place. No familiar faces of the public or people on our side were there. I decided to stop at a place nearby then turned around and slowly walked back to the court house.
A little past 8:00 AM I walked from the intersection of Pasteur and Ly Tu Trong Streets to Co Da park, across from the Court. When I stopped in front of the Court, I saw many staring eyes, and cameras pointed toward me.
I felt alone and lost among a crowd of strangers with bullet eyes staring toward me. I couldn’t care less! I chose a seat facing the Court to sit down, then I whispered the Peace prayer for those who were being tried in court. After a little while, security police came to chase me away. I crossed the street to a bus station on the other side of the Court, and waited for the bus home. There were a few other people already sitting there because they could not attend the trial. We started to make conversation. Shortly after that, the police came to chase us away. I went back in the Park, just when Vu Sy Hoang (Facebook nickname Hanh Nhan) and Bach Viet arrived. We entered the Park and sat chatting with each other. Minutes later, a crowd of police, security, Civil Defense, City Order enforcers walked toward us. Sensing that something bad about to happen, we decided to get up and leave the park. A senior police officer ran after me and barked an order:
– I suggest you show me your ID card.
– What! You want to check my ID card for walking in the park?
– I am security police. I have the right to check the ID card of anyone.
– It is true that you have the right to check the ID card of people but only after 11:00 pm if you caught me wandering on the street. Now I go to the park in broad day light, why do you want to check my ID card? What do you want?
They sped toward me and Hanh Nhan trying to grab us. I ran out on the street and yelled loudly. They quickly and rudely pushed me into a car waiting nearby. Hanh Nhan could not escape either. They grabbed his neck, pushed him on the ground and punched him in the face. His lips bled. They lifted him by his hands and legs like carrying a pig and threw him in the car. His trouser was torn.
In the car, they continued to menace and beat us. They ripped off the cell phone from me.
I was taken to the police station of Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, while Hanh Nhan was taken to another place. They pushed me into an office in the police station. An aggressive security police, unjustly hit me in the face, the neck and my two shoulders as if he and I had had an eternal feud with each other in the past. I was in pain.
After beating me, he left the room to confer with his comrades, leaving me with a local ward police and a young girl from the Security Team of District 1. I turned to ask her a question:
– How old are you?
– You are so young. You must have just graduated from school, right?
The little girl nodded. I said:
– Do you think the security agents have the right to do what the law does not allow?
The girl had not answered when the local police stopped her:
– Calm down! You had to do something wrong for the police to bring you here. There are many other people on the street why didn’t they arrest them, but you? (This phrase was so familiar to me)
– I’m wondering why they arrested me. Could you, at your convenience, ask them why ? (I asked him that question in soft and calm voice).
Everybody was quiet when the security agents wearing civil clothes walked into the room.
A female security agent told me:
– We suspect you hide illegal exhibits in your body. We recommend that you let us search your body.
I also found this rationale familiar. I suddenly thought this is their trick to incriminate me to a crime. So I said:
– OK! If you want to do that, bring me out in front of the public, I’m going to take off my clothes for everyone to witness and that way you could not pin anything on me.
– You can’t say that! You are a woman with honor and dignity. Strip you naked in front of the public, what would they think of you?
– Right! To women their honor and dignity are very important. But not because of that that I would let you arbitrarily accuse me of any crime.
No matter what I said, they stuck to their plan. They restrained me, and stripped off my clothes in front of other security policemen and the terrible thing was they brought out a video camera to record the event. Their goal was to humiliate me. I resisted and warned them:
– You had difficulty taking off my clothes, but putting them back on me would be even harder.
When there were only underwear left on me they stopped. Their camera remained pointed toward me. I went to a mirror in the back to fix my hair and then looked toward the camera putting on a calm attitude, but I yelled:
– Record it. After you’ve done recording, don’t forget to post it on the Internet so the public can see your vile actions.
After they were done recording, they went out of the room for consultation.
I felt achy and weak because of the beating, the humiliation, and the effort to fight back. I laid down on the floor closed my eyes to think about their barbaric behaviors. Before becoming a Catholic, I had stated that I would rather die than to let them trample on my dignity. In those days, I would throw myself against a wall to end my life.
I started to feel cold and nauseous, I ran to the toilet. While I was vomiting, a woman introducing herself a nurse from the Health department of District 1 came to ask me if I was married or had kids, then she asked me to pull down my panty for her to do a vaginal cavity check. I asked her for the reason, she said, my vomit was related to my digestive problem. I told her my vagina had nothing to do with my digestive system, it might affect my urinary so I refused to let her check anything on my body. Seeing that I was in such a bad condition, she went out of the room and refused to do the vaginal cavity search requested by the security police.
The security people insisted she carry out the search. I walked out from the toilet and told her not to do anything against the law and against her conscience. I pointed to the security people and told her that she should let them do their job and don’t let them pass on the responsibility to her. I said they dared to undress me to video tape me then there was no other dirty job they would not do.
The woman removed the gloves, handed them to the security agents and left the room. The security agents also walked out of the room. I sat down on the floor, the shock still lingered in my mind. I hoped they wouldn’t do it. Because I was afraid if they’d do it, my soul would suffer serious damage and hatred would succumb me. I might destroy myself and then them. I didn’t know how to prevent such things from happening. I became immobilized and suddenly I sang the passage of peace and then I prayed.
They returned with two new nurses while I was still singing words from the passage of peace. They asked me to be obedient and cooperate but I refused. They coercively carried me and put me on a table, they restrained my arms and my legs then proceeded to strip me naked. I resisted with all the force that I have left to fight back; a few times I kicked some of them to the wall. I scratched their hands, pulled their hair, but the strength of one was no match for the four of them combined. In the end they stripped me naked. They placed their hands in my vagina. I felt hurt both physically and mentally. After they were done with me, they forced me to let them put my clothes back on me. I refused to let them putting my clothes back on me. I said:
– Just leave me naked this way and let me go home. You dared to do all that before but you’re afraid now? I’m not afraid so there is nothing for you to be afraid of.
They tried really hard to put my pants back on me but they could not put my shirt back on me. They took my jacket and pulled it up through my arms then they pull the zipper up on my back. Then they left the room. There were tears rolling down my face. I was thinking of death. And then I thought about the words in the passage of peace, I thought of the life of Jesus Christ and I forced a smile. While the security agents were writing some type of reports, I heard the young security girl said:
– Uncle Hai ordered us to do that.
The uncle Hai that she referred to could it be Le Minh Hai (who was in charge of the city security department), the one who had given order for his people to do the same devil’s job on Blogger Ta Phong Tan like they did to me today?
About 12:00 noon, they returned me to the police station of Phu Thanh ward, in Tan Phu district (where I resided). In the car I remembered about what my friends had been telling about the cruelty of the Egyptian rulers prior to the changes in their country, I felt very at peace that I spoke directly to the security agent the following words:
– Today I’m very happy for claiming two victories against you. The first is despite the fact that you did mobilize a lot of people and efforts to stop me from leaving the house. But you failed, I did arrive at the court house where I wanted to go. The second, you used your vile and dirty acts wanting to hurt my soul to instill fear in me, causing me to give up my cause. But I want to let you know that while it is true that violence and your vile acts may cause people to surrender before you, but that only works for the weak. With people like me those acts only strengthen my spirit and my determination. You should convey my words to those who ordered you to carry out these vile acts. And don’t forget to add that your skills are poor and inferior to a woman like me that you had to rely on those dirty tricks.
In a way, I am glad that you have done those acts; because for any social change, it would also come with losses, and sacrifices. What you have done today shows me the signs of real changes that will come and they will come very soon. And violence will kill national criminals like you.
At first, when I began to talk, they wanted to hit me, but then for some reasons, only silence.