Rights Network requests US officials to help
minister Nguyen Hong
Quang and journalist Nguyen Vu Binh
Vietnam Human Rights Network has demanded a number of US senators, US Congress
members and state and local elective officials to get involved into Vietnamese
communists’ recent oppressive measures against minister Nguyen Hong Quang and
journalist Nguyen Vu Binh.
following is a letter addressed to senator Richard G. Lugar, Chairman of the US
Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
Vietnam Human Rights Network
4745 El Cajon Boulevard, Ste. 104 San Diego, CA 92115
Tel.: (619) 284-5111 / Fax: (619) 284-5115 / Email:
June 21, 2004
To: The Honorable Richard
Chairman of The Foreign Relations Committee
United States Senate
Subject: Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang and Journalist Nguyen Vu Binh
Dear Senator Lugar:
We at the Vietnam Human Rights Network would like to request
that you intervene with the Vietnamese communist government concerning the
following two serious violations of human rights:
Against Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang
A Secretary General of Vietnam’s Mennonite Church, he was
arrested on 6-8-2004 after he had distributed an 8-page report denouncing the
Saigon City's 2nd District police of using force in their arrest and beating of
four Mennonite missionaries. The missionaries had complained of injustice and
demanded that government officials respect the laws. After the Pastor had been
arrested, the police also took away his computer and private as well as legal
documents for lawsuits he was defending.
Against Journalist Nguyen Vu Binh
Accused of “espionage” based on
Vietnam’s Criminal Law and of slandering the state for his sending in July 2002
a letter to the U.S. Congress denouncing human rights violations by the
Vietnamese authorities, Mr. Binh was arrested in September 2002. On 5-5-2004 he
was sentenced to seven years in prison and three years under house arrest by
the Hanoi high court.
Journalist Binh had worked
nearly ten years for the Communist Review, the official publication of the
Vietnamese Communist party, until December 2000 when he resigned to work on the
formation of an independent political party. In 2001, together with other
democracy activists, he planned to start an “Anti-Corruption Association”. A
man of courage and sacrifice for freedom and democracy, he was granted several
awards by a number of international organizations, including Human Rights
Watch’s “Hellmann/Hammett” award in 2002.
to Vietnam’s Constitution as well as the United Nations’ International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights, which Vietnam ratified in 1982, everyone is
entitled to freedoms of speech, assembly, and association. Though his
“espionage” sentence is listed in Article 80 of Vietnam’s Criminal Law, Mr.
Binh countered that his case was unfounded due to complete lack of evidence.
Because of the seriousness of
the violations by the Vietnamese communist government against Pastor Nguyen
Hong Quang and Journalist Nguyen Vu Binh, we would like to request that you
kindly intervene with the Vietnamese authorities for the immediate and
unconditional release of both victims. We hope your intervention and that of
your colleagues would effectively prevent more numerous and serious violations
of human rights in Vietnam.
Thank very much for your assistance.
Nguyễn Thanh Trang
Chairman, Coordinating Committee
Vietnam Human Rights Network