Conscience prisoner of 38 years has finally been released

Conscience prisoner of 38 years has finally been released and arrived home at 9:00 pm March 21, 2014. Our family and chu cauVietnamese communities around the world are celebrating the release of the prisoner of century Nguyen Huu Cau.

A former captain in the South Vietnamese army, he spent six years in reeducation camps following the Fall of Saigon. Nguyen Huu Cau, a poet, song writer, human rights defender, and anti-corruption activist. He was arrested by public security police on October 9, 1982 for having authored an ‘incriminating’ manuscript of songs and poems. Nguyen Huu Cau had reportedly noted allegations of rape and bribery committed by the two high level officers on the back of the pages of the original manuscript. The manuscript was reportedly not used as evidence in the trial against him, in order to protect the two officers concerned. He was accused of committing ‘destructive acts’ that were supposedly ‘damaging’ to the government’s image on May 23, 1983, he was sentenced to death. His mother submitted an appeal on his behalf and a year later, on May 24, 1985, the Court of Appeals commuted his capital sentence into life imprisonment.

Nguyen Huu Cau has been frequently held in solitary confinement, and his health has deteriorated seriously over the past few years. Despite this, he has continued to challenge the camp authorities over his unfair detention. Over the past 30 years, Nguyen Huu Cau has written over 500 letters to the authorities demanding a re-trial but has never received a reply. He consistently pleads innocent, turns down suggestions to apply for clemency or seek early release.

He has apparently now lost most of his vision and is almost completely deaf. He suffers from a serious heart condition, which is worsening because of the lack of adequate medical attention and the deplorable prison conditions.

A brave man who has dared to challenge the communist regime for 38 years and counting after the war ended. He is the image of un-bowing Truth, Courage, and Resilience in the face of adversity. He gives us the paragon and the moral courage to continue fighting for Freedom and Democracy in VN.

Our prayers are with him and his family.

Much obliged from all of us.


Picture: Nguyen Huu Cau at his son’s home after 38 years.
Courtesy of Lanney Tran