Letter to Hon. Chrystia Freeland_Khue-Tu Nguyen (Ms.)

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Kính thưa quí vi, 

Con xin kính chuyển để quí vị tuờng thư con mới gửi cho Bà Bộ Truởng Ngoại Giao Canada.  Trong thư này con yêu cầu Bà lên tiếng truớc tình trạng đàn áp, bắt giam nguời bất đồng chính kiến gia tăng trầm trọng tại Việt Nam trong mấy tuần vừa qua, và cũng đề nghị Bà gửi đại diện của Toà Đại Sứ Canada tại Việt Nam đến thăm Bà Trần Thị Nga, vừa bị xử 9 năm tù và đang bị biệt giam.  
Con xin cảm ơn sự quan tâm của quí vị 
Kính thư, 
August 5, 2017

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Foreign Affairs

125 Sussex Dr., Ottawa, ON

K1A 2N8

Dear Minister:

I would like to inform you of some recent serious developments in the situation of violations of human rights in Vietnam by the Vietnamese Communist government.

According to Reporters without Borders (https://rsf.org/en/news/vietnam-why-party-cracking-down-harder-bloggers), over the last two weeks five bloggers have been arrested on charges of “attempting to overthrow the government” or “anti-state activities” under Article 79 of the Penal Code, and are facing the possibility of a death sentence, including:

-          Four former prisoners of conscience – bloggers Pham Van Troi and Nguyen Trung Ton, journalist Truong Minh Duc and human rights lawyer Nguyen Bac Truyen – were arrested on July 30, 2017.  They were accused of being in contact with Nguyen Van Dai, a fellow member of the Brotherhood of Democracy, an association of former prisoners of conscience.  Dai was himself arrested in December 2015 on a charge of “propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam” under Article 88 of the Penal Code.

-          Blogger Le Dinh Luong was arrested by plainclothes police in the Province of Nghe An in Central Vietnam on July 24, as he was about to visit the wife of Nguyen Van Oai, a human rights defender and citizen journalist who has been detained since January 19, 2017.

In addition, two other well-known female bloggers, who have small children, have been given long jail terms on charges of “anti-state propaganda,” including:

-          Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (pen name “Mother Mushroom”) sentenced on June 29, 2017 to 10 years,

-          Tran Thi Nga sentenced on July 27, 2017 to 9 years.

I urge you to voice Canada’s concern over the above worrisome developments which show that the Vietnamese government has become increasingly cruel against dissidents and would not hesitate to brutally suppress them.

According to Human Rights Watch (https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/07/27/vietnamese-activist-sentenced-9-years-one-day-trial), “for a decade, Tran Thi Nga has carried out her fight against injustice despite government intimidation and assault.  In August 2015, she was dragged from a bus and beaten by plainclothes police after visiting a recently released political prisoner.  A May 2014 attack by five men on the street in Hanoi left her with a broken arm and leg. Yet she was unyielding, continuing to speak out against the assaults and broader state violence.”

I would particularly like to draw your attention to the case of Tran Thi Nga, who, according to Reporters without Border, “is being subjected to ‘disciplinary measures’ in prison, which probably include isolation in the most appalling conditions, a cruel technique often used in an attempt to purge dissidents of their ideals.”  

I therefore also urge you to send a representative of the Canadian Embassy in Vietnam to visit Tran Thi Nga to ensure that she will not be tortured or treated inhumanely, especially given recent tragic events like the case of Nguyen Huu Tan, a Hoa Hao Buddhist follower, who had his throat slit during a one-day investigation for suspicion of making the flag of the former Republic of Vietnam (https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa41/6657/2017/en/). 

Trusting that my request will receive a positive response from you, I remain,

Yours respectfully,

Khue-Tu Nguyen (Ms.)



c.c.       Honourable Peter Kent, M.P., Opposition Foreign Affairs Critic

            Ms. Helene Laverdiere, M.P., NDP Foreign Affairs Critic

Honourable Robert D. Nault, M.P., Chairman, House of Representatives Standing Committee on             Foreign Affairs and International Development

Senator Raynell Andreychuk, Chair, Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Mr. James Bezan, M.P.

            Mr. Don Davies, M.P.

            Ms. Anne Minh-Thu Quach, M.P.

            Honorable Irwin Cotler, P.C.

            Honourable David Kilgour, P.C.


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