Letter to U.S. Elected Officials and NGOs

February 18, 2014

Re: Human Rights Activist Bui Thi Minh Hang and others unlawful arrest in Vietnam

Dear Sir/Madame,

On behalf of the Women For Human Rights in Vietnam organization, we are sending you a call for help for land-rights and human rights activist in Vietnam, Bui Thi Minh Hang.

Bui Thi Minh Hang, a land-right and human rights activist, who has been blogging from her home outside Ho Chi Minh City since May 2012 and receives around 10,000 page views each day. She is known for distributing “the human rights enforcement handbook” to local residents. The authorities, security police, and government thug closely watch on her blog, tap her telephone and hack her e-mail. They follow her in the street, break in and ransack her house constantly.

Most recently, on February 11, 2014, nearly thousands of policemen ambushed Bui Thi Minh Hang and 20 other people. Ms. Hang Minh Thi Bui was handcuffed and beaten severely on her head until it was bleeding. All 21 of them were violently beaten up by batons, and handcuffed, taken to Lap Vo police station. They were detained for more than 24 hours without a legitimate reason or warrant. (Ex. 1). This incident happened following the attack on lawyer Nguyen Bac Truyen on February 11, 2014 (See Ex. 2)

In late February 12, 2014, some people were released. However, Ms. Bui Thi Minh Hang, another blogger Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh and a Buddhist, Hoa Hao worshiper, Nguyen Van Minh remained in jail. On February 15, 2014, the Women for Human Rights in Vietnam (WFHR) were informed by Ms. Hang’s son, Tran Bui Trung that she and the other two people have been transported to Cao Lanh prison, Dong Thap province.

On February 16, 2014, Ms. Hang’s son came to Cao Lanh detention center to obtain the arrest documentation of his mother and 2 other people, Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh and Nguyen Van Minh. The temporary detention notice included the following content, translated by WFHR: (Ex. 3)

“Reason for detention: Illegal gathering, causing serious interference with common traffic, according to Article 245 in the Criminal Codes of Republic Socialist of Vietnam. The person of interest is currently being held at Lap Vo’s Police Department’s Detention Center in Dong Thap Province. Received: Vice-Chief of Office of Police Investigation – As mentioned above Signed and Sealed by Colonel Le Hoang Dung”

As of February 17, 2014, three activists have been detained to the 7th consecutive day and their health conditions are greatly concerned because of the severe beating injuries. They have been accused of violating Article 245, “disrupting public order”, with a criminal charge pending, ironically the victims are imprisoned for a crime that was orchestrated and conducted by the law enforcement of Dong Thap province. A “Complaints against the Communist government of Vietnam, and arbitrary arrests violate the UN Convention Against Torture” has been filed by Ms. Hang’s family, Bloc 8404 and other victims. (See Ex. 4)

With all due respect, this fraudulent act of the Vietnamese communist regime has proven that they do not qualify to continue as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Vietnam has a record of non-existent workers’ rights and an extensive roster of human rights violations, including the use of child labor. Nonetheless, their continuation of denying the rights of their people, imprisoning dissidents, attacking innocent people by force, etc… must be stopped before advancing on any economic leverage from our hard working Americans, such as negotiation and rewarding of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). We, the Women for Human Rights in Vietnam (WFHR) asking you, the US Congress members help us to pressure the government of Vietnam, to respect human rights for all the people of Vietnam, and unconditionally to release Bui Thi Minh Hang, Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh, Nguyen Van Minh immediately.

We have enclosed the letter crying for help from Bui Thi Minh Hang’s son. (See Ex. 5) and his “Letter of Complaint” to the Vietnam government officials. (Ex. 6)

Sincerely,

Lanney Tran

WFHR Chairwoman

Enclosed:  (Ex. 1): Police continues to terrorize the family and friends of dissident lawyer Truyen Bac        Nguyen

(Ex. 2): HRW – Vietnam: Stop Harassment of Rights Defenders

(Ex.3): Copy of Notice of Arrest

(Ex.4): Letter of Complaints against the Communist Government of Vietnam     ARBITRARY IMPRISONMENT and INFRINGE THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE

(Ex.5): Letter calling for help from Bui Thi Minh Hang’s son

(Ex.6): Letter of Complaint to Vietnamese government officials from Tran Bui Trung

BTMH – Letter from WFHR

exhibit 1-6

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