Dec. 10, 2022
The 2022 Vietnam Human Rights Award Ceremony in Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt (December 10, 2022) - The Vietnam Human Rights Network (VNHRN), in collaboration with the Association of Vietnamese Refugees in the Federal Republic of Germany, held the International Human Rights Day rally and the 21st. Vietnam Human Rights Award (VNHRA) Ceremony in Frankfurt on December 10, 2022.
From 1 a.m., many fellow refugees from across Germany gathered at the Opernplatz square in Frankfurt, holding the Republic of Vietnam flag and banners in German and Vietnamese languages, denouncing the Vietnamese Communists for human rights violations. They voiced their aspiration for freedom, democracy, and human rights for the Vietnamese. The peaceful gathering under cold weather has attracted the attention of the locals and told them that fundamental human rights in Vietnam are still just a dream.
The 2022 Vietnam Human Rights Award Ceremony was held later in the cozy setting of Christuskirche church in the neighborhood. Attending the ceremony were representatives of the Association across Germany, many compatriots in Frankfurt, and neighboring cities and countries such as Ukraine, Poland, Austria, and Belgium. Religious leaders include the Most Venerable Thich Nhu Dien and Pastor Uwe Saßnowski. On the side of international human rights organizations were Mr. Frank Boungard of The Christian Actions for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT), Ms. Gabi Uhl, Chairperson of the German Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (Initiative Gegen die Todesstrafe e.V.), and Mr. Roman Kühn, Director of the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV)
After the opening ceremony and prayers for peace in Vietnam by the two religious leaders present, the program began with a welcome speech by Dr. Hoang Thi My Lam, Chairwoman of the Association of Vietnamese Refugees in the Federal Republic of Germany. Then, Dr. Nguyen Ba Tung, Head of the Executive Board of the VNHRN, addressed the significance of the 2022 Vietnam Human Rights Award when human rights repression is worsening. He said: “Recently, the police have increased their arrests of patriots who dare to speak out against the threat of foreign invasion, imprison dissidents, and plunder the property of farmers and churches, strictly suppressed those who fought for workers’ rights and encouraged human trafficking through cheap labor export. Therefore, this 74th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an opportunity to look back to our homeland, where our compatriots, especially human rights fighters, are engaged in the arduous struggle to reclaim human rights. This year’s Vietnam Human Rights Award recipients: poet Tran Duc Thach, journalist Nguyen Tuong Thuy, and activist Luu Van Vinh and his teammates in the Vietnam National Self-Determination Coalition, are typical examples.
Unfortunately, the recipients are still languishing in communist prisons. But your large attendance also shows that human rights fighters back home are never alone in this challenging but just fight.”
The award ceremony was emceed by Mr. Tran Ngoc Thanh and Mr. Trinh-Do Ton-Vinh in Vietnamese and German, culminating in the commendation and awarding part. Then, the Organizing Committee members took turns reading out the achievements of the award recipients and the hardships they had to endure.
Dr. Nguyen Ba Tung, Dr. Hoang Thi My Lam, and Mr. Vu Hoang Hai, on behalf of the VNHRN, presented honoring plaques to the representatives of the laureates, including LS Nguyen Van Dai, on behalf of poet Tran Duc Thach; writer Vo Thi Hao on behalf of journalist Nguyen Tuong Thuy; and journalist Vu Ngoc Yen on behalf of activist Luu Van Vinh and his teammates.
After each commendation, the audience watched the video clip of the three laureates’ wives speaking from Vietnam on the big screen.
Nguyen Thi Chuong, the wife of prisoner of conscience Tran Duc Thach, said: “I am delighted to know this good news because my husband’s sacrifice, which entails difficulties for the whole family, has been recognized. My husband in prison must be pleased to hear this news. The VNHRA is a source of spiritual comfort for my husband in prison and his family, still facing many difficulties due to an unjust regime.”
Pham Thi Lan, the wife of prisoner of conscience Nguyen Tuong Thuy, sincerely said: “On November 19, I visited my husband and informed him that he had been selected to receive this year’s VNHRA. He was thrilled and thanked the individuals, organizations, and the VNHRN for bestowing him the award. This award is a great source of spiritual and material encouragement to my husband. It made my husband feel comforted during his years in prison.”
Le Thi Thap, the wife of prisoner of conscience Luu Van Vinh, said: “I was amazed and delighted when I heard that my husband, Luu Van Vinh, and his four comrades were selected for the VNHRA. After many years of imprisonment, it is an honor for my husband and his four friends to still have organizations of like-minded brothers and sisters who remember and keep the same warm feelings.
On the afternoon of November 20, my daughter and I came to visit my husband. I am happy to inform him that he and four friends have been awarded the VNHRA. He was delighted. I want to thank the members of the award committee. Thank you for always loving, accompanying, and nominating my husband and his comrades. This award reminds us that we always have friends and organizations to accompany us. We are glad to know we are not alone. I sincerely thank you for this support. The award will help keep my husband and his friends and many other brothers and sisters in prison always spiritually strong.”
Then a select number of guests were invited to speak, including the Most Venerable Thich Nhu Dien, Pastor Uwe Saßnowski, Mr. Frank Boungard of The Christian Actions for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT), Ms. Gabi Uhl, Chairperson of the German Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (Initiative Gegen die Todesstrafe e.V.), and Mr. Roman Kühn, Director of the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV). In addition, some leaders of international human rights organizations who could not attend also sent messages praising the winners and thanking the Organizing Committee.
The award ceremony ended after memorable protest songs of folk music performance by young refugee compatriots.
Many attendees expressed excitement that the Vietnam Human Rights Award Ceremony was held for the first time in Germany. However, that excitement cannot overshadow the anxiety at the Vietnamese Communists’ increased repression and persecution of those who dare to speak out peacefully for territorial integrity, social justice, and fundamental human rights.
The VNHRA was established in 2002 by the VNHRN to honor individuals or groups who have made their mark in the inexorable march toward freedom, human rights, and democracy of the Vietnamese people. It is also an opportunity for Vietnamese in the Diaspora to express their solidarity with and support for those involved in the relentless fight for fundamental rights and justice for Vietnamese people. From its establishment to the 21st awarding ceremony this year, 55 individuals and six organizations have been honored and received the VNHRA.
[Home] [About us] [Bills of Rights] [Documents] [H R Reports] [VNHR Awards] [HR Forum] [Links]