Granddaughter plead to serve prison term for Grandfather’s freedom

Granddaughter plead to serve prison term for Grandfather’s freedom

An Minh Bac, March 9th, 2014

Respectfully Presented to:

–           Mr. Truong Tan Sang, President of Republic Socialist of Vietnam

My name is Tran Phan Yen Nhi, born in 1999.  I am currently residing in An Hoa hamlet, An Minh Bac commune, U Minh Thuong district, Kien Giang province.   I am a granddaughter of Mr. Nguyen Huu Cau, born in 1947, who has spent the last 39 years I prison, and he is presently imprisoned in solitary confinement at Z30A prison in Xuan Loc – Dong Nai province.Image

Mr. President, I am writing this letter to you pleading for the release of my Grandfather.  This is my fourth letter begging for my grandfather’s release ever since I first visited him on June 4, 2013.   Before that, my Great-grandmother, my Grandfather, my Aunt, and my Father had written more than five-hundred petitions to many government agencies pleading for the innocence of my grandfather.  Although, those letters of petition did not achieve any results nor an adequate response from the authorities.  I truly feel despondent for my Great-grandmother passing away without knowing that her appeal letters went unanswered.  I made a promise with her soul that I would continue writing to you on behalf of my Grandfather petitioning for her only son, who is also my beloved Grandfather.  I constantly pray to my Great-grandmother’s spirit to help me achieve her ultimate dying wish, which is to free my Grandfather, one of the longest serving prisoner as the saying, “a seniority prisoner to be released.”

Honorable Mr. President,

My Grandfather is suffering from many different illnesses including: lack of blood flow to the brain causing frequent blackouts, loss of consciousness, constant stomach pain, complete blindness in the left eye, and blurry vision in his right eye.  His denture has one last remaining tooth, and endures declining weaken heart that he has to hold his chest while he talks.  With that many health problems in conjunction with old age, I am very terrified that he would end up dying, leaving nothing but dust and bones in prison. Image

I do not fully understand the crimes that my grandfather was convicted guilty of that has brought upon him an onerous prison term.   The words cannot convey enough the burden and grievances that this prison sentence have caused our family for the past thirty years.  Because of this conviction, my Grandmother left him to marry another man, leaving his two children, my Aunt and my Father, without care because she could not feed them.  This prison term outlasted my Great-grandmother’s hope to see her son a freeman before she dies.  This verdict had deracinated my family for thirty years.  After thirty years of my grandfather’s imprisonment, my Father that he had a biological Father is serving lifetime sentence in prison, and he also discovered that he had a sister living faraway.   Because of this verdict that my Grandfather’s blood and flesh lost their roots.  His last name is Nguyen, while his son and his granddaughter carry the last name of Tran.   It brings me tremendous pain to think about my Grandfather’s life.   I really hope he takes comfort knowing the fact that I am very proud of him.

Dear Mr. President,

During my visits, my Grandfather told me that the prison guards repeatedly insisted that he writes a confession letter pleading guilty in exchange for his release.  However, my grandfather refused to write such letter and affirmed that he did not violate the law to admit.   He asked me to petition for his innocence.   Hence, I respectfully ask you take a look into his case to help my Grandfather.

On February 14th, 2014, two police officers informed me that my Grandfather would be released shortly so he could enjoy Vietnamese New Year with our family.  Nevertheless, that promise turned out empty because my Grandfather is still in prison.   Many appeal letters and petitions from different generations in our family went unreciprocated.   Therefore I am writing directly to you, Mr. President, to ask for your help on my Grandfather’s case so he can spend his short time left in this life a freeman.

If I could have my wishes, I pray for the following requests:

–           First, I could serve the remaining term of my Grandfather’s conviction so he could be free.  I am still young, and I could do prison works assigned to him.  At his old age, my Grandfather does not have the strength to do these works.

–           Second, if you agree to release my Grandfather from prison so that he can live his remaining time in freedom, I am willing to shorten my lifespan

To end this letter, I send you my best wishes for good health, and I hope that this letter will make its way into your hands.


Tran Phan Yen Nhi

With this letter, I also appeal to all Vietnamese inside of Vietnam and abroad and all Human Rights Organizations to raise your voices helping for the release of my grandfather from prison.  I respectfully thank you with deepest gratitude to all of those who care about him and our family.

Best Regards,

Tran Phan Yen Nhi

This is the email address of my father:

Granddaughter plead to serve prison term for Grandfather