Letter # 2 – Update on Bui Thi Minh Hang
February 21, 2014
We are writing to you regarding Ms. Bui Thi Minh Hang, a land-rights and human rights activist in Vietnam. She is currently detained in Cao Lanh prison, Dong Thap province. As we have informed you of her situation, she was ambushed and unlawfully arrested by Dong Thap police force. Ms. Bui Thi Minh Hang and another blogger, Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh and a Hoa Hao Buddhist follower, Nguyen Van Minh, have been wrongfully accused and temporary held imprison since February 11, 2014 for, “Reason for detention: Illegal gathering, causing serious interference with common traffic, according to Article 245 in the Criminal Codes of Republic Socialist of Vietnam.”
However, Article 87 of DETERRENT MEASURES clearly stated, “Article 87. – Custody time limits of temporary detention:
- 1. The custody time limit must not exceed three days, counting from the time the investigating bodies receive the arrests.
- 2. In case of necessity, the custody decision issuers may extend the custody time limit, but for no more than three days. In special cases, the custody decision issuers may extend the custody time limit for the second time, but for no more than three days. All cases of extension of the custody time limit must be approved by the procuracies of the same level; within 12 hours after receiving the extension requests and documents related to the custody time limit extension, the procuracies must issue decisions to approve or disapprove such requests.
- 3. In the custody period, if there are insufficient grounds to initiate criminal proceedings against the accused, the persons kept in custody must be released immediately.
- 4. The custody duration shall be subtracted from the temporary detention duration. A custody day shall be counted as one temporary detention day.”
As of today, it has passed the Custody time limits of 9 days, yet Ms. Bui Thi Minh Hang and the other 2 people are still not released. This prolong jail time of Ms. Hang and her friends are unlawfully conducting by Dong Thap officials. It is a violation against Vietnam Constitution; the conviction infringes with Vietnam’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; Covenant Against Torture and commitments reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Vietnam is currently a member of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.
We call for the Vietnamese government to release unconditionally Bui Thi Minh Hang, Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh, and Nguyen Van Minh immediately.
We also urge the international communities to intervene and demand freedom for Bui Thi Minh Hang, her two friends and asking the Vietnamese government to respect and follow the laws accordingly. The government authorities of Vietnam must implement and respect the rights of all people and abolish the abuse of the police force to torture innocent people.
CC: Honorable David Shear, U.S. Ambassador in Hanoi
Honorable Hugh Borrowman, Australian Ambassador in Hanoi
International Human Rights Organizations, NGOs