Reported by WFHR

March 8, 2014

Dear Sir/Madame:

We are writing to update you regarding the case of human rights activist Mrs Bui Thi Minh Hang, who had been recently arrested by police from Lap Vo district and Dong Thap province while she was on her way to visit her friends, Mr and Mrs. Nguyen Bac Truyen. As we have recently reported:

On February 11th, 2014, Mrs. Hang, Ms Quynh, and Mr Minh along with eighteen other individuals were on their way to visit Mr Nguyen Bac Truyen’s wife following his unlawful arrest. As the group got closed to Mr Truyen’s residence, they were ambushed by hundreds of police personnel from Lap Vo’s district police department. They were tied up, handcuffed and beaten violently with bamboo sticks, batons, and electric batons. The entire party was transported to and jailed at Lap Vo’s district police headquarter. After more than twenty-four hours of detention without any legitimate reason and/or warrant, eighteen people were released. Mrs. Bui Thi Minh Hang, Ms Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh, and Mr Nguyen Van Minh were moved to An Binh prison in Cao Lanh city, Dong Thap province on February 15th, 2014.

It has been 26 days since the unlawful arrest of Ms Bui Thi Minh Hang, Ms Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh and Mr Nguyen Van Minh. Yet, we are advised that family and friends have not been allowed to visit these detainees. Nonetheless, there has been no information provided by the Vietnamese authorities regarding the reason for the arrest, hearing schedule and/or eligibility for release. According to Ms Hang’s daughter, Dang Thi Quynh Anh, she has been on hunger strike since her arrest on February 11th, 2014 to protest the mistreating and illegal prosecution by Dong Thap’s police. Following is a statement by Hang’s daughter regarding her situation:

“…The police accused my Mother of interfering with common traffic, but they later charged her with “obstruction of justice and causing serious interference with common traffic” after detaining her for more than ten days. My Mother has been on a hunger strike in prison to protest against the tribulation, defamation, and forced an admittance of guilt by Dong Thap’s police. My Mother had been illegally jailed before for demonstrating against China’s invasion of Vietnamese territory in the Paracel and Spratly Islands. She also condemned the Chinese navy’s killings and beatings of Vietnamese fishermen using unmarked boats. My Mother often defends organizations and groups that have been discriminated by Vietnamese government including Thai Ha Catholic Parish, Hoa Hao Buddhist followers, and land-grab victims in Van Giang, Hung Yen, and many other areas. She also supports political prisoners, who have been wrongfully convicted such as Cu Huy Ha Vu, Le Quoc Quan….. From a successful businesswoman, my Mother sacrificed her career to fight for justice and basic rights guaranteed to any human being after witnessing so many inequalities and human rights abuse in Vietnam. On her journey to defend human rights, my Mother has been strictly followed by government’s undercover agents. Her house has been vandalized many times with dirty substances at night. Her numerous requests to local police for investigation on these mishaps turn up empty. Despite ongoing terrors, My Mother stays focused on her path in fighting for social justice and all human rights be respected as stated by the laws. It is obvious that detention of prosecution by Dong Thap’s police for my Mother is attempts to stop her from human right defending activities. The unusual traffic checks, provocation, filming, arrests, threatened and forced witnesses, and changing charges within a short amount of time would explain that there has been a master plan carefully staged against my Mother.” (Ex. 1)

A “First Testament” had been written by eighteen witnesses who were at the scene with Mrs. Hang on the day of the incident, who were beaten and wrongfully jailed for 24 hours, detailing the attacks of Dong Thap police force on these innocent citizens of Vietnam. (Ex. 2). As of this moment, Mrs. Hang, Ms Quynh, and Mr Minh’s health are critically being at risk; their lives are in grave danger because of ongoing hunger strike since Feb. 11, 2014. The Vietnamese authorities have not been cooperating with their families regarding their detention situation, despite everyone’s efforts. (Ex. 3)

Furthermore, we are concerned these continuous attacks targeting Hoa Hao Buddhist followers as they have been in the past by the Vietnamese police force. (Ex. 4) Additionally, the latest updates from Ms Hang’s children, they were informed by Ms Hang’s lawyer, attorney Tran Thu Nam that he has not been allowed by the Lap Vo authority to speak or too meet with Ms Hang about her trial. According to Lap Vo’s authority officer, “Ms Hang has declined to have a lawyer.” No one has been able to visit Ms Hang to verify such statement.

To recap, prior to this incident, in 2011, Mrs. Hang was detained without trial for almost two years for participating in a peaceful protest against Chinese aggression of Paracel and Spratly islands. Vietnamese government continuously violates the commitments reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Covenant Against Torture and are inconsistent with Vietnam’s position in the UN Human Rights Council.

We respectfully request the U.S. government officials, International Human Rights organizations, governments of the European Union members to push for immediate release of Mrs. Bui Thi Minh Hang, Ms Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh, and Mr Nguyen Van Minh. Especially to the government of the United States of America, we strongly recommend that the release of these three individuals and all other prisoners of conscience must be met before any further negotiations of Trans-Pacific-Partnership (TPP) takes place. We also hope that U.S. Senate and President Barack Obama pass and implement Vietnam Human Rights Act – S1649, which was passed by U.S. Congress HR 1897 in 2013, to pressure the government of Vietnam respects all human rights as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Respectfully Yours,

Lanney Tran Chairwoman of WFHR

(Ex. 1): Mrs. Bui Thi Minh Hang’s daughter statement (

Ex. 2): First Testament of 18 witnesses

(Ex. 3): Mrs. Bui Thi Minh Hang’s daughter “”Plead for help.”

(Ex.4): RFA News – Families Concerned Over Jailed Activists on Third Week of Hunger Strike