Vietnam: Le Quoc Quan sentenced to 30 months in prison

English PEN joins PEN International in protesting the 30-month sentence and heavy fine handed down to blogger and human rights lawyer Le Quoc Quan for alleged tax evasion on 2 October 2013. PEN believes the charges to be politically motivated and that he has been penalised for his human rights work. We are therefore calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

According to our Vietnamese colleagues, Le Quoc Quan‘s wife was able to visit the camp where her husband is being held shortly after he was sentenced, on 8 October. Quan was allowed to talk to his wife and his mother for about 30 minutes, but was behind a screen so unable to see them. His wife reported that he is in poor health, but that his morale remains high, and that he had asked her to relay his sincere thanks to friends and fellow writers overseas for their ongoing support.

For further information on Le Quoc Quan’s case, please visit the PEN International website.

TAKE ACTION:

Please send appeals:

  • Protesting the 30-month sentence and heavy fine handed down to blogger and human rights lawyer Le Quoc Quan for alleged tax evasion on 2 October 2013;
  • Stating that you believe the charges to be politically motivated and intended to prevent him continuing his legitimate human rights activities and from exercising his right to freedom of expression;
  • Calling for his immediate and unconditional release;
  • Seeking assurances that, while he remains imprisoned, Le Quoc Quan receives adequate medical treatment.

Appeals to:

His Excellency Truong Tan Sang
President of the Socialist Republic of
Viet Nam
Hung Vuong street
Ba Dinh district
Ha Noi
Viet Nam

Mr Nguyen Tan Dung
Prime Minister
1 Hoang Hoa Tham street
Ba Dinh district
Ha Noi
Viet Nam

Mr Phan Binh Minh
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1 Ton That Dam steet
Ba Dinh district
Ha Noi
Viet Nam

Please note that there are no fax numbers available for the Vietnamese authorities, so you may wish to ask the diplomatic representative for Vietnam in your country to forward your appeals. It would also be advantageous to ask your country’s diplomatic representatives in Vietnam to intervene in the case.

His Excellency Mr Vu Quang Minh
Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
12-14 Victoria Road,
London
W8 5RD
Email: consular@vietnamembassy.org.uk

You may wish to write to the authorities using the form below. A sample letter is provided, but we would highly recommend personalising your appeal.

[ecampaign ‘to=consular@vietnamembassy.org.uk’ subject=”Call for the immediate release of Le Quoc Quan”]

Your Excellency

I am writing to you as a supporter of English PEN, the founding centre of the international association of writers, on behalf of imprisoned blogger and human rights lawyer Le Quoc Quan.

According to PEN’s information, on 2 October 2013, Le Quoc Quan was handed a 30-month sentence and heavy fine for alleged tax evasion. It is widely believed that the charges against Le Quoc Quan are politically motivated, and that they are intended to prevent him from continuing his legitimate human rights activities and from exercising his right to freedom of expression.

I am therefore writing to respectfully call for the immediate and unconditional release of Le Quoc Quan, in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Vietnam is a state party. I am also seeking assurances that he receives adequate medical treatment as a matter of urgency while he remains detained.

I would welcome your comments on my appeal.

Yours sincerely

[/ecampaign]

About Cat Lucas

Cat Lucas is English PEN's Writers at Risk Programme Manager

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