Appeal for Help
– The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR)
– International human rights organizations
– Diplomats of the embassies of the countries in the free world
– Media outlets concerning human rights and democracy in Vietnam and worldwide.
– All Vietnamese living in Vietnam and abroad.
My name is Dang Thi Quynh Anh, currently residing at 75 Pham Hong Thai street, Quang Trung ward, Son Tay, Viet Nam.
I am the daughter of Ms. Bui Thi Minh Hang, a human rights activist in Vietnam.
Today, I am writing this letter on behalf of my family to plead with you for your help by voicing your concerns and taking immediate actions to save our mother, Ms. Bui Thi Minh Hang.
On February 11, 2014, our mother and twenty (20) of her friends were traveling to Dong Thap province to visit and offer consolation to the family of a former prisoner of conscience Nguyen Bac Truyen, who have been undergoing harassments and physical attacks sanctioned by the authorities in Vietnam, due to their participation in practicing their faith: Hoa Hao Buddhism, which is unrecognized and under the brutal oppression by the authorities for more than 38 years.
While on their way, our mother and her travelling companions were ambushed by over 100 police officers, civilian clothed and in uniformed. They were then brutally beaten up, handcuffed, searched and arrested. After 48 hours without given any food or water, 18 people in the group were released. However, our mother, Ms. Bui Thi Minh Hang, and two others, Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh and Nguyen Van Minh remained detained at Lap Vo, Dong Thap province. Moreover, they have been on hunger strike since then until now, for 26 days, to protest their unlawful arrest.
Our family was notified by the authorities that our mother has been charged with “aggravated assault on police officers on duty” and “obstructing traffic, causing a significant traffic jam”, pertaining Article 245 of the Vietnam Criminal Penal Code, which can carry from 2 up to 7 years in prison.
It has been 4 weeks since my mother’s arrest. During this time, my siblings and I have made many attempts to visit our mother, although our visitation requests were declined by the authorities. Today, our mother’s lawyer, attorney Tran Thu Nam was informed by the police authorities of Lap Vo, Dong Thap province that his request to meet with our mother for legal consultation was denied on the grounds that our mother has declined legal assistance. However, the notice does not have our mother’s signature nor do we have any verification that it is indeed our mother’s intention regarding this matter.
The recurring illegitimate acts of the Vietnam’s government authorities are in blatant violation of their own laws and also a total disregard of the International Conventions on Human Rights of the United Nations Council, of which Vietnam is currently a member.
Recently, Vietnam was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Yet, instead of promoting and protecting basic human rights for its citizens, the authorities have been escalating their oppression and imprison peaceful activists, who help educate the general public about their rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by United Nations General Assembly. In fact, our mother is another victim of the acts of retaliation committed by the authorities in Vietnam.
We are very agonized about the perilous condition of our mother, and we fear for her life. Since it has been more than four (4) weeks in custody, yet no one in the family nor her attorney has been allowed to visit her to gather facts about her arrest and sustained imprisonment. The illicit action of the authorities in Vietnam poses the threat of becoming a dangerous precedent for other human rights defenders and democracy activists in Vietnam. Because the Vietnam’s government can revoke their basic human rights as well as their rights to legal consultation and protection.
We urgently implore the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the embassies of the countries in the free world, and international human rights organizations to help save our mother by intervene, and strongly raising your concerns, as well as using any other effective means to pressure the government in Vietnam for the immediate release of our mother.
We sincerely and respectfully extend our deepest gratitude for your attention and assistance in this urgent matter.
On behalf of my siblings.
Dang Thi Quynh Anh
March 5, 2014
– Phone: 01684 787 786
– Email: email@example.com
– Address: 75 Pham Hong Thai Street, Quang Trung Ward, Son Tay, Viet Nam.