Vietnam: Tran Khai Thanh Thuy arrested

English PEN is seriously concerned about the detention of female writer and journalist Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, who was reportedly arrested on 21 April 2007 for her critical writings. PEN considers her to be held solely for peacefully exercising her right to free expression, and calls for her immediate and unconditional release in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Vietnam is a signatory.

Tran Khai Thanh Thuy suffers from diabetes and advanced tuberculosis, for which she has been receiving hospital treatment, and there are grave concerns that she is not receiving the medical care she urgently requires in detention.

According to PEN’s information, Tran Khai Thanh Thuy was arrested at her home in Hanoi on 21 April 2007, where she had reportedly been held under strict house arrest since November 2006. She is believed to be charged with violating Article 88 of the Criminal Code for the dissemination of information deemed by the authorities to be harmful to the state. The charges reportedly follow the publication on the Internet of a number of essays by Thuy calling for democracy. She is also reported to be accused of membership of the underground pro-democracy group Bloc 8406, of supporting a dissident human rights organisation, and of illegally organising a trade union. The charges carry a maximum sentence of twelve years in prison.

Tran Khai Thanh Thuy is an established novelist, poet, essayist and editor of the underground dissident magazine To Quoc (Fatherland). She has been under heavy surveillance and harassment since September 2006 for her critical writings published online.

She has been repeatedly denounced and humiliated in public meetings organized by the authorities, including a ‘People’s Court’ in October 2006, where police gathered 300 people in a public stadium to insult her. Mobs have entered her home calling her a traitor and a prostitute and threatening to beat her. Police have told her they cannot protect her, and that the only way to do so is for her to abandon her activism. She and her husband have been harassed at their workplaces. In September and October 2006, she was continuously interrogated and detained by authorities, and in November she was dismissed from her job. She was held under strict house arrest during the November 2006 APEC meetings.

Tran Khai Thanh Thuy was one of this year’s Hellman Hammet Award Winners.

Please send appeals:



  • Expressing grave concern about the detention of writer and journalist Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, and calling for her immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Vietnam is a signatory;


  • Expressing fears about Tran Khai Thuy’s health, and calling on the authorities to ensure the continuity of the medical treatment she has been receiving for tuberculosis.

Addresses:
 
His Excellency Nguyên Minh Triêt
President, Socialist Republic of Vietnam
C/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Hanoi
Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Prime Minister Nguyên Tân Dung
1 Hoang Hoa Tham Street
Hanoi
Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Lê Doan Hop, Minister of Culture and Information
1 Hoang Hoa Tham Street
Hanoi
Socialist Republic of Vietnam

It is best to send all the above appeals, however, via the Vietnamese embassy in London:

His Excellency Mr Trinh Duc Du

12-14 Victoria Road

London W8 5RD

Fax: 020 7565 3853

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

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