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.
Source: http://danlambaovn.blogspot.com/2013/06/dinh-nhat-uy-arrested-for-failing-to.html#.UcviBZyaYyc

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
Source: http://www.phamdoantrang.com/search/label/English%20articles?updated-max=2012-09-29T22:35:00%2B07:00&max-results=20&start=10&by-date=false

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.

Source: http://danlambaovn.blogspot.com/2013/06/police-continued-to-stop-and-assault.html#more

Vietnam hands lengthy jail sentences to two patriotic, anti-Chinese activist

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Awkward position for Vietnam as China is biggest trading partner

A Vietnamese court has sentenced two young activists to lengthy prison sentences for distributing anti-Chinese leaflets in Ho Chi Minh City.
The People’s Court of Long An province in southern Vietnam sentenced Nguyen Phuong Uyen, 21, to six years in jail and three years of house arrest and Dinh Nguyen Kha, 25, to 10 years in jail and two years of house arrest. Two of years of Kha’s sentence stem from an earlier, unknown verdict.
The two students had been accused of distorting “the party and the state’s policies related to religion and land, and exhibit[ing] a twisted viewpoint regarding the Spratly and Paracel islands and the border land between Vietnam and China”, according to the charges.
Vietnam and China both claim sovereignty of the Spratly and Paracel islands in the South China Sea. In recent years, Vietnam has been in the awkward position of having to regularly clamp down on patriotic, anti-Chinese protests for fear of antagonising its largest trading partner.
Uyen and Kha have been accused of distributing leaflets that called on their government to take a tougher stance against what they said where Chinese incursions on Vietnamese sovereignty and exploitation of the country’s natural resources.
“This has less to do with Beijing putting pressure on Hanoi,” said Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division. “But more with the fear of the authorities that China issues would be used as a common front for people with different grievances against the state to unite and raise demands for reform.”
Their lawyer had petitioned the prosecution to drop the charges, arguing that the two were only being patriotic, Radio Free Asia reported earlier.
Uyen and Kha were arrested in autumn in Ho Chi Minh City and were charged with “conducting propaganda against the state” under the controversial article 88 of the penal code. Kha faced an additional charge of “terrorism”.
Their leaflets had been signed by the Patriotic Youth League, an overseas advocacy group banned in the country. At least four people who attended the proceedings on Thursday to show support for the two defendants have been arrested.
“This is a continuing pattern we have seen,” said Robertson. “The government seems to have a systematic policy to try to keep well-known activists away from other activists’ trials.”
Source: http://nguyenphuonguyen.blogspot.com/2013/05/vietnam-hands-lengthy-jail-sentences-to.html

Let’s reach out beyond the shadow of fear and find the light of freedom!

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Trần Quốc Việt (Danlambao) On July, 1988 Tuoi Tre newspaper published a letter from student Le Vinh Nguyen in Nha Trang:

I feel betrayed and I want to know why …

We were told that once liberated, we would build a country ten times as prosperous and beautiful. So why are our citizens still so poor? Why do they not have enough to eat? Why are students rejected from colleges because their of parents’ history?

Innocent people in Vietnam can only look upon the sky for answers. In other countries, officials must be held accountable for any mistakes. When will Vietnam learn this lesson?

This regime is proud of defeating the U.S powerhouse yet it cannot repair potholes on its own roads.

At that time, Vietnam’s population was at 65 million people. Currently Vietnam’s population is at about 90 million people, mostly young people. In this age of information, these young people are more politically aware than their parents were, and they want to step out of the government’s enslavement. They want freedom. They have the courage to act, but do not have enough patience to wait as long as the previous generation. This is a generation of maturity with the ability to decide and act for the future of his nation.

The time from Le Vinh Nguyen’s letter to Nguyen Dac Kien’s courageous article spans one generation.

We went from demands for pothole repairs to demands for the removal of Article 4 of the Constitution (which states that the Communist Party remains the sole guiding party of the country).  This proves how far we’ve come and it shows that fear is giving way to freedom.

We can now hope. But we need a lot of people, especially the younger generation, to work together to build the future of the country for ourselves and our children.

Writer Victor Hugo once said “Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” Today, those thoughts are expressed through thousands of signatures supporting Statement of the Free Citizens.

History is an extension of tragedy when we choose to exist in fear. But history is hope when we live and act out the call of freedom and conscience.

So those who have not signed for their future please do so now because time does not wait. We will never see the future we desire if we do not act together collectively.

Take a look back at the history of the Soviet Union when communism collapsed from within. From October 1988 to October 1989, four million communist members relinquished their membership. And in early 1990 about 200,000 to 300,000 protesters in Moscow demanded the removal of Article 6 of the Soviet Constitution which is similar to Article 4 of the Constitution of the Vietnamese Communist Party.

If we see all the corruption of the regime but choose to remain silent, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Let’s reach out beyond the shadow of fear and find the light of freedom!

Source: http://danlambaovn.blogspot.com/2013/03/hay-vuon-minh-ra-khoi-bong-toi-so-hai-e.html#.UVvK21fagyc

Sad On A Happy Day

Tran Quoc Viet (Danlambao) – The United Nations announced that March 20th 2013 will be the first International Day of Happiness around the world. So everyone’s happiness can be based on a common platform. This platform, after all, is Freedom.  Freedom provides wings for humans which they then can chase their own dreams of happiness.

The people living in totalitarian regimes can not be happy because they do not have true freedom. Thus the first International Day of Happiness is a sad day in their lives when they compare themselves to free citizens in democratic countries. Has anyone dared to assert that the people of North Korea are happier than the people of South Korea or the Vietnamese are happier than the Thai?

Only totalitarian regimes are happy on this day because they are still able to rule their citizens through imprisonment and violence.  Sadly, this is the happiness of animals practicing cannibalism.  Somewhere in the fully-equipped, air-conditioned room, they are toasting wine to this happy happy day, while citizens will continue to suffer.

For reasons mentioned above, we the slaves in Vietnam, would like to ask the United Nations not to rub salt into our wounds by naming this day International Day of Happiness Of Free Citizens in the coming years.

Without freedom, our lives are just sad named and unnamed days.

Source: http://danlambaovn.blogspot.com/2013/03/buon-trong-ngay-hanh-phuc.html#more

What would you do in my situation?

Phạm Thanh Nghiên  Translated by Lê Anh Hùng (Defend the Defenders) – When I pose that question to you, I don’t mean that I expect you or any other Vietnamese to go through what I have experienced. It is simply that I expect your sympathy. I believe that life will be very interesting and lively when we imagine ourselves in other peoples’ circumstances and think and feel what is in their hearts. The circumstances I suggest here may make you feel bad and think, “Wow, that is so unlucky.” If so, just stop reading. However, I still want you to take part in this “funny test” in order to let me understand you more. Just let me know your feelings so that we could come closer together. Below are the situations that you would encounter if you were me.

In just nearly 6 months after your release from prison, you received more than ten summonses from the local authorities. Repeatedly, they came to your home to annoy you for various reasons: checking registered residence, questioning, or just paying a visit. These self-proclaimed people’s police would knock strongly on the door if you did not let them in. It was no pleasure at all when they visited while you were away to terrify your almost eighty-year-old mother time and time again. Even more, late at night and during power outages, they opened your house gate arbitrarily and forced your mother to open the door to let them “check registered residence.” A whole pack, uniformed or not, searched all over the house by torchlight, from private rooms to toilets.

You came back from prison in exhaustion; you needed to go to the hospital for treatment but the local authorities kept thwarting you. You asked, “What if unfortunately, I had a severe disease which needed emergency aid, and the hospital was located in another ward or district?  According to ‘your laws,’ I would still have to write a petition to submit to you at the ward level, and then wait for you to submit it at the district level, and continue to wait until you reply, before I am permitted to save my life myself. What happens if, unfortunately, I die then?” And you would receive the answer from the mouth of the Vice-Chairman of People’s Committee of the Ward, “When it comes to laws, it must be enforced. No other way!”
Your private residence was always blocked, guarded and surrounded by the police in order to terrify your mind and hinder your freedom to travel. Moreover, they caused public tumult at night, affecting your family’s as well as your neighbors’ sleep.
On 5th day of the Lunar New Year, the police came to your home to “recommend” that you do not go anywhere and then guarded your house right away, making your guests and friends anxious and scared.
When you paid a visit to one of your acquaintances, you fall victim to a sudden raid by the police. They then took you to several public buildings at their fancy and questioned you for hours. After all, you would be “granted” a fine worth 1.5 million VND for the so-called “breach of regulations on obligations of persons under surveillance punishment.”
And the story I want to share with you is as follows.

I have endured four years in prison under the laws of the “Socialist Republic of Vietnam” and returned home in very poor health. Never have I accepted the sentence as well as other illogical laws that the authorities foisted upon me. This means I will face many difficulties, even accepting those risks that I cannot anticipate. Anxiously, my mother advised me to “write a petition” to inform the authorities of my trip to Hanoi for a medical examination. Previously, she had been “reminded” by the police that if I went on my own free will, they would bear no responsibility if I experienced any “incidences” during the trip. I then wrote a petition, informing them of every necessary detail they required. And the answer was: At 23h30 on 3rd October 2012, a group of policemen (Dong Hai 1 ward) rushed to my house to “check registered residence”, just several hours after I submitted my petition. They gave me an “oral command” that I stay put at home. Additionally, they told me that my petition was “wrong” because there was no “DON XIN” (a humble word asking for favors) as well as no “Socialist Republic of Vietnam/Independence – Freedom – Happiness” at the head of the petition letter.

Finally to exercise my apparent right, I had to manage the trip myself, considering every possible way to get to the hospital unscathed. The doctors at the Viet Tiep Hospital concluded that I only had a sore throat, with no risk at all, whereas I frequently had a slight fever. They failed to give an explanation for this. An opthamologist diagnosed me with papilloedema and degeneration of purpurogenous membrane. He gave me a prescription. However my illness didn’t ease up but instead got more severe. I then went to a very well-known and prestigious doctor in Hanoi. She diagnosed me with aesthenopia and “optic atrophy at temple’s side.” Following her method of treatment, I felt my illness easing up. Nearly two months later, however, I felt the pain again. Time and again, I felt my eyes were about to blow up, very uncomfortable. Worse yet, this was accompanied by slight fever that persisted from day to day. I was really worried. I needed to go to Saigon for medical examination and treatment.
Again, for the second time, I wrote a petition. It was not that I acquiesced with that “lawless law,” but that I did not want them to take my absence as a pretext to terrify my mother. Moreover, the right to medical services is self-evident for anyone to exercise (without permission). No normal government or state would want their citizens to be ill or sick. With that in mind, I was sure that they would let me go. I was wrong!
On 19 February 2013, I submitted my petition to ask for permission to go for medical examination.
On 22 February, I felt unwell and had to go to a clinic for a tonic injection. The doctor asked me to go on treatment the following days.
On 23 February, the police began guarding my house. The treatment was then disrupted.
On the morning of 24 February, the police came to my house to give me a summons which required that I go to the headquarters of the People’s Committee of the Ward to hear “the answer for your petition.” In the afternoon, unable to go to the former clinic, I had to go to a smaller one near my home. My blood pressure as checked here did not reach 80/50 levels. While I was in bed for a tonic injection, the police stood guard outside the room.
On 25 February 2013, while I was in bed for a tonic injection, the policeman in charge of my neighborhood went right to the spot for “inspection” and then called his superior to report the situation.
In the morning of 26 February, I went for working sessions with the local authorities. The police at ward, district and municipal levels all informed me that they had received my petition and promised to address it. I requested that they reply in written form as stipulated by the law. Both Mrs La Thi Thu Thuy, representative of the Hai Phong Municipal Public Security, and Mr Nguyen Van Ky, Vice-Chairman of the People’s Committee of Dong Hai 1 Ward, promised me to reply in written form.
At 10am on 28 February, the police of the ward came to my home to give me a summons, requesting my presence at 10h15am the same day to hear their official answer. I asked them to cite whatever legal stipulations which authorizes the police to summon a citizen in just 15 minutes (the time to open the gate and listen to their explanation alone already exceeds 15 minutes). They got back to their office and minutes later came back with another summons, which requested me to go to the headquarters of the People’s Committee of the ward the next day “for a working session.”
On 1 March 2013, I went for a “working session” with “authorized agencies”, which include:
1) Mr Nguyen Van Ky, Vice-Chairman of the People’s Committee of Dong Hai 1 Ward;
2) Lieutenant Colonel Luu Van Thi, Deputy Head of Dong Hai 1 Ward Public Security;
3) Mrs La Thi Thu Thuy, Team Head, Political Security Department (PA67), Hai Phong Municipal Public Security;
4) Captain Nguyen Manh Tung, Head of Criminal Sentences Enforcement Team, Hai An District Public Security, Hai Phong;
5) Lieutenant Colonel Mac Tu Khoa, Team Head, Criminal Sentences Enforcement Department, Hai Phong Municipal Public Security;
6) Do (or Dinh) Van Thuan, Head of Dong Hai 1 Ward Public Security;
7) A policeman not in uniform and not introduced himself;
8) A policewoman from An Hai District Public Security, not in uniform, named Nga.
These “authorized agents” orally replied me as follows, “You are not permitted to go (for medical examination); if you go deliberately, you will be arrested.” The justification for them to prohibit me was that I was a “special target,” quoting Mrs La Thi Thu Thuy’s words verbatim. When I asked them to deliver their promise and also to abide to (their own) laws by replying to me in writing, Captain Tung answered, “We have explained very clearly, you can remember yourself. No need for written documents.”
Mr Luu Van Thi asked me to pay “the debt” (fine) worth 1.5 millions VND. He also said that, because I did not go to the ward authorities to “show up and report [my] observance of regulations of surveillance” every month, even tore a summons before the police. So from April 2013 on, even if I want to go to the headquarters of the People’s Committee of the ward, I have to call to “ask for permission” in advance and wait for their assent before “showing up”. Otherwise, I just wait for their summonses to arrive home and go as specified by the summonses. He did not forget to “reprimand” me for daringly using the word “Don yeu cau” (Letter of Request) instead of “Don xin” (letter asking for permission) when writing the petition.
I don’t want to tell more about the conversation I had with these people. But I remembered telling them before going home that, “You do not give me any reason to respect you. If you want others to respect you, respect yourself first.” Glancing up at certificates of credit (which state “heroic forces…”) hung on the wall, I said: “Hanging these certificates of heroism doesn’t turn you into heroes right away. Rather, getting them down will make you feel less ashamed.” I then stood up, pushed the chair aside forcefully, and left through the door. The policewoman named Nga rushed after me and offered, “Let me take you home, sister Nghien.” I reluctantly expressed my gratitude and went home on foot. It wasn’t until 5 March 2013, after 12 days guarding my house, that they quit.
When I type these letters, my eyes are still awfully painful. Slight fevers still follow me persistently, and how awfully I wish one day I could get rid of these chronic, constant headaches!
Thank you so much for your patience in reading my incoherent and uninteresting story. And, after all, just let me know: What will you do to remain a free man?

Police Forces Lay Seige To Dr. Nguyen Dan Que’s House

[Editor’s note: Dr. Nguyen Dan Que is an endocrinologist and well-known pro-democracy advocate in Vietnam.  Dr. Nguyen has served several prison sentences totaling over 20 years for various state security charges related to his activism.  In 1995, Que was given the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. The Center praised his work “promoting greater freedom of expression and human rights in Vietnam.”  This post details the most recent injustice perpetrated on Dr. Nguyen by the Communist government.]

For the last two days, Dr. Nguyen Dan Que’s home has been been surrounded by police forces, isolating his family from the rest of the outside world.  This raises much concern about the imminent raid on his house, and also the arrest awaiting Dr. Que . Dr. Nguyen Dan Que is a leading dissident in Vietnam, and also one of the first to sign the Declaration of Free Citizens.

An urgent news report from the Association for Democracy said, “Beginning the evening of 7/3/2013, a police force was mobilized to block and surround the home of Dr. Nguyen Dan Que at 104 / 20, Nguyen Trai Street, Ward 3, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. Saigon.”

The latest information coming in on March 8, 2013 is that police forces continue to pour in. All four roads leading into the home of Dr. Que police are blocked.

According to the Association for Democracy, the pressure being applied to Dr. Que is probably due to the fact that he was involved in signing many of the Declarations of the Movement for Democracy in Vietnam. Dr. Que was one of the first to publicly put pen to sign a statement of support of the People of Freedom.

Additionally as of late, Dr. Que has had many meetings with the younger generation of activists fighting for human rights and democracy in Vietnam.  He has hosted many visitors who support bringing democracy to the country of Vietnam.

The group Rallying for Democracy is concerned that “with a large force, the police could burst into and the search home of Dr. Que at any moment, as has happened on 3/2011.”

On February 25, 2012, more than a dozen policemen raided his home and arrested him after he published his popular appeal ‘Stand Proudly Declared : Freedom or Live Flesh!’  He made this statement during the Arab Spring when the people of the Middle East were fighting to remove dictators in those countries. The case increased his reputation, brought attention to his struggle, which finally forced authorities to release him after three days in custody.

Dr. Nguyen Dan Que is the founder of Movement for Human Rights in Vietnam.  He is considered one of the pioneers in the democracy movement in Vietnam and is internationally known. Throughout his life as an activist, he has been jailed by the Communist regime for more than 20 years. In recent years, many reputable individuals from around the world have nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Source:  http://danlambaovn.blogspot.com/2013/03/ca-xua-quan-bao-vay-co-lap-nha-rieng.html#more

 

Reporters Without Borders Awards Vietnamese blogger Huynh Ngoc Chenh

Reporters Without Borders, with support from Google®, Thursday awarded its 2013 Netizen of the Year award to Vietnamese blogger Huynh Ngoc Chenh.
Reporters Without Borders chose the nominees from more than 40,000 Internet users who visited their YouTube® site from around the world. They selected the winner on the Reporters’ YouTube Channel. The award ceremony will take place in Paris on March 12 at the Google office on the occasion of the World Day against Cyber ​​Censorship.
Huynh Ngoc Chenh is one of Vietnam’s most influential bloggers. His blog attracts about 15,000 visitors per day, even though readers must use software to circumvent censorship to gain access. Chenh criticizes the government and defends freedom of expression. He focuses on issues of democracy, human rights and the territorial disputes between Vietnam and China. Authorities have threatened him numerous times for his articles and police monitor his communications.
“This award represents an inspiration to me as well as for all bloggers, independent journalists in Vietnam, those who face the restrictions about the right of freedom of expression,” Huynh Ngoc Chenh said by telephone from Hanoi.
“It demonstrates the world community’s support and will make us more audacious in raising our concerns and continue our struggle for freedom of information. It will help people who are scared of speaking out.”
Vietnam is on the list of “Enemies of the Internet” by Reporters Without Borders and is the 172nd out of 179 in the latest World Press Freedom Index. Bloggers and other netizens are facing particular repression. Their relatives are also harassed and threatened. The authorities have stepped up efforts to increase surveillance and remove “sensitive” content. On January 9, 14 dissidents – including 8 bloggers and citizen-journalists – were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 3 to 13 years.
With 31 bloggers and citizen-journalists currently behind bars, Vietnam is the third largest prison in the world for netizens behind China and Oman.
“We are pleased to award this prize to a courageous Vietnamese blogger and thereby recognize the activities of online news providers in a country marked by draconian censorship and growing surveillance of dissidents,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.
“Despite the risks, bloggers and netizens continue to inform their fellow citizens. In Vietnam, they now fill the void left by the state-run media, which are subjected to very strict news control and relay the government’s views. By tackling subjects that are sensitive but of general interest, Huynh Ngoc Chenh helps freedom of information to progress in his country. He is an example for netizens all over the world to follow.”
Today, according to Google, some 40 countries are engaged in Internet censorship. Google was the first company to publish a transparency report that shows interruptions to the flow of information from our tools and services. Google also is a founding member of the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder organization — including human rights and press freedom groups, investors, academics, and companies — whose members commit to protect online free expression.
“We’re proud to support Reporters Without Borders with this important prize that highlights the pressure many governments around the globe are are putting on the Internet,” said William Echikson, Head of Free Expression for Europe, Africa and Middle-East at Google. “Our 
products 
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 search 
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and 
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 Docs
 ‐‐ 
have 
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 approximately
 150
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services. Initiatives such as the Netizen prize shine a light on those who stand up in support for online free expression.”
Reporters Without Borders launched the World Day against cyber-censorship back in 2008 in order to protect a single Internet, free and accessible to all. Google has partnered with Reporters Without Borders in 2010 to award the annual Netizen who recognizes a user, blogger, or cyber-dissident who has distinguished himself by his advocacy of Internet freedom of expression.
Reporters Without Borders will release on March 12 the 2013 Enemies of the Internet report, a special issue dedicated to online surveillance that points out to a selection of countries and companies.

Declaration of Free Citizens

[Editor’s Note: Recently, Vietnamese Communist Party Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong stated on national television that any call for a multi-party system in Vietnam is unacceptable.  In response, journalist Nguyen Dac Kien posted on his blog that Trong has no right to speak on behalf of the people of Vietnam and that what people want is more freedom.  Because of his article, he was terminated from his position at The Family and Society newspaper.  His firing has ignited a wave of calls for democracy.  Below is the declaration that is being disseminated throughout the online community.]

We, the undersigned, call upon our fellow citizens to join us in declaring:

1. We not only want to abolish Article 4 in the Constitution, but also to have a Constitutional Congress to establish a new constitution that truly reflects the will of our people, not the will of the communist party as currently in the constitution in force.
2. We support a pluralistic and multi-party system, and all political parties who fairly compete for the advancement of freedom, peace, and prosperity of the people of Vietnam. No political party has the right to control, and to tyrannize this nation.
3. We not only support a democratic system which upholds the independence of the executive, the legislative and the judiciary, but also wish for a government that decentralizes its power by empowering the autonomy of local levels of government, and eradicates the state-sponsored consortium, and all state-owned corporations, which misuse national budget, breed corruption, destroy the people’s faith, will and the spirit of our national unity.
4. We support for the military becoming non-partisan, free from the party affiliation. The military is to protect the people, the land, and defend national sovereignty, not to serve any political party.
5. We assert the right to declare the above and that all our fellow Vietnamese citizens share the same right.
We affirm that we are exercising our fundamental human rights which constitute the rights of free thoughts and free expression. These are natural rights that are inherent in every human being at birth. The Vietnamese people recognize and respect these universal rights. These rights are not granted to us by the Communist party and hence, the communist party has no right to dispossess us of them nor to judge them. We deem any judgment or accusation aimed at us an act of defamation. We believe anyone who opposes these human rights is also against our national interests and mankind’s civilization.
Let us join hands to turn this Declaration of Free Citizens into an unbreakable tie that bonds together millions of Vietnamese hearts. Let us raise our voice by signing our names at the following email address: tuyenbocongdantudo@gmail.com
Source: http://danlambaovn.blogspot.com/2013/03/declaration-of-free-citizens.html#more