Vietnam: Concern for safety of writer and journalist Tran Khai Thanh Thuy

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English PEN is seriously concerned for the safety of writer and journalist Tran Khai Thanh, who has been subject to serious harassment and sustained interrogations about her Internet writings since 2 September 2006.

Her case appears to be part of a pattern of organised and widespread police harassment of dissident writers and human rights activists in Vietnam since August 2006, apparently in the lead up to the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) summit held in Hanoi on 12-19 November. PEN is alarmed about the apparent crackdown in recent weeks, and reminds the Vietnamese government of its commitment to freedom of expression as guaranteed by the Vietnamese Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Vietnam is a signatory.

According to PEN’s information, writer and journalist Tran Khai Thanh Thuy (pen names Nguyen Thai Hoang and Nguyen Thi Hien) was briefly detained on 2 September 2006 for her Internet writings, followed by three weeks of daily interrogation sessions. She was again briefly detained on 11 October and interrogated about the essays ‘The Grotto’, ‘Self-Narration’ and ‘Dialogue’ written after her detention in September. She was also reportedly brought to an open ‘People’s Court’, in which members of the public are forced to participate in the abuse and humiliation of those accused. She is now
believed to have been placed under effective house arrest and has been banned from publishing her writings on-line.

Other Vietnamese writers to have been recently subjected to police harassment, brief detention and house arrest include:


  • Hoang Tien, Nguyen Khac Toan, and Nguyen Van Dai, editor, deputy editor and journalist respectively of the independent magazine Tu do Dan Chu (Freedom and Democracy);

  • Pham Hong Son, released from prison on 30 August 2006;

  • Novelist Nguyen Xuan Nghia;

  • Pro-democracy activists and Internet writers Truong Quoc Huy, Vu Hoang Hai, Nguyen Ngoc Quang and Pham Ba Hai, arrested in August and September 2006 for their support of the Manifesto on Freedom and Democracy for Vietnam, a pro-democracy movement formed on 8 April 2006, known as ‘8406 Bloc’;

  • Essayist Do Nam Hai, reportedly arrested on 15 October 2006 and charged with ‘espionage’ and ‘anti-Socialist propaganda’ for drafting the Manifesto of the Alliance for Democracy and Human Rights in Vietnam;

  • Writer, lawyer and Mennonite pastor Nguyen Hong Quang, reportedly harassed and threatened;

  • Lawyer and cyberdissident Le Thi Cong Nhan, repeatedly harassed and interrogated since September 2006;

  • Lawyer and cyberdissident Bui Thi Kim Thanh, reportedly forcibly detained at a psychiatric hospital in Ho Chi Minh City since 4 November 2006.

Please send appeals:

 



  • Expressing serious concern for the safety of writer and journalist Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, who has been subject to serious harassment for her Internet writings since September 2006;

  • Expressing alarm about an apparent crackdown on dissident writers, pro-democracy and human rights activists in Vietnam in recent weeks;

  • Reminding the Vietnamese government of its commitment to freedom of expression as guaranteed by the Vietnamese Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Vietnam is a signatory.

Appeals to be sent to:

His Excellency Tran Duc Luong
President, Socialist Republic of Vietnam
C/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Hanoi
Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Prime Minister Phan Van Khai
1 Hoang Hoa Tham Street
Hanoi
Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Pham Quang Nghi, Minister of Culture and Information
1 Hoang Hoa Tham Street
Hanoi
Socialist Republic of Vietnam

As there are no direct fax numbers for the above, it may be most effective to ask the Vietnamese representative in your country to forward your letters to the above.

The Vietnamese representative in the UK is:

His Excellency Mr Trinh Duc Du

12-14 Victoria Rd

London W8 5RD 

Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/bulletins/vietnamconcernforsafetyofwrite/

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