Award Acceptance Speech by Dr. Nguyen Quoc Quan
on behalf of Dr. Nguyen Dan Que
Mr. President and Distinguished members of the Vietnam Human
The Honorable Loretta Sanchez, Member of U.S. Congress,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am extremely honored to accept the prestigious 2004 Vietnam
Human Rights Award on behalf of my brother, Dr. Nguyen Dan Que, who is currently
in prison in Vietnam and could not be here with us today.
Dr. Que has devoted most of his adult life to the non-violent
struggle for freedom, democracy, and human rights in Vietnam. As a result of his
unwavering struggle against a relentless government, Dr. Que has been imprisoned
three times and has spent most of the last 25 years in prison or under house
arrest. His life is filled with intimidation, harassment, and torture. The
Vietnamese government wants to silence his voice, yet despite 25 years of
trying, Hanoi has not been able to break him. They even failed to force him into
exile in exchange for his release. He told them: “Exile is not freedom”.
Being kept in isolation in a remote area in Thanh Hoa
Province, Dr. Que has no way of knowing that he is the recipient of the 2004
Vietnam Human Rights Award. Had he
known this, he would be tremendously happy to know that his fellow countrymen
share his convictions and recognize his works. The award today also proves to
the world that Vietnamese people denounce the unjust treatment of the Vietnamese
dissidents by the Hanoi regime and they appreciate and honor people like Dr.
Nguyen Dan Que, Historian Pham Que Duong, The Most Venerable Thich Huyen Quang,
The Venerable Thich Quang Do, Father Nguyen Van Ly…
On behalf of my brother and my family, I thank the Vietnam
Human Rights Network for selecting Dr. Que for this prestigious award. It
supports and validates Dr. Que’s cause. It gives encouragement and hope to him
and to all Vietnamese people who dream of living in a free and democratic
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to take this opportunity to specially thank the
US Congress for strongly supporting our just cause. With us today is
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. I am
honored to be able to work closely with her and her office for so many years.
She is a true friend of the Vietnamese American community and a Champion for
human rights in Vietnam. She is one
of the two members of Congress who has met Dr. Que in person and is also part of
the group of Senators and Congressmen from both parties to nominate Dr. Que for
the Nobel Peace Prize every year. Please give her a big hand for all that she
has done to help our cause. Finally, I would like to express our thanks to the
spiritual leaders, the various associations and organizations, the media around
the world, and Vietnamese artists and singers who have been very supportive of
Dr. Que and his cause.
Thank you all.
Human Rights Network
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