October 2, 2011
My name is Bui Thi Nu, mother of Tran Thi Thuy, who has been unfairly trialled on May 30, 2011. She was heavily sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment followed by 5 years of house arrest. My daughter was accused of “attempting to overthrow the government” according to Article 79 of the Vietnamese Penal Code, in a court proceeding that lasted only a few hours. Her lawyer, Mr Huynh Van Dong was continually being obstructed from gathering evidence and had great difficulties in preparing the case. He was ejected from the courtroom during the trial when pointing out the lack of evidence on her charge. The injustice here is that my daughter never did anything in “attempting to overthrow the government”. On the contrary, she expressed her love for the country by supporting the call for Vietnamese sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly islands. She was also actively involved in helping aggrieved farmers fighting for their confiscated land and attending seminars on non-violent struggle.
All of the above activities were to promote patriotism and improve social justice, therefore contributing to the progress of the country, rather than “overthrowing the government” as being accused.
In the last twelve months since being arrested, my daughter’s health has deteriorated significantly. When I visited her on August 30, 2011, I saw that she was quite thin and weak. Thuy complained of having constant headache and experiencing pain all over her body. This was resulted from the torture that she had to endure when she was initially arrested and detained in Saigon. Thuy told me that the police grasped her hair and pulled her around. Until this day, she is still having nightmares about it.
Furthermore, my daughter has been subjected to continual threats. Prior to the appeal court on August 18, 2011, Thuy was isolated in a small separate cell with extreme foul odour making her nauseated. She vomited and was not able to eat anything. The prison officials also threatened her of forced labour.
All of the above have caused significant stress upon my daughter both physically and psychologically. She is constantly living in fear and anxiety. As a result, I am gravely concerned about her health and safety. Most recently, when I visited her on September 21, I was told that she has already been transferred to new prison camp in Xuan Loc, Dong Nai Province. We were not informed of this transfer at all. At the present, I am not certain about her well-being.
By writing this letter, I wish to urgently appeal to international human rights organizations, governments of democratic country as well as all our friends inside the country and abroad, to:
We would like to sincerely thank you for all your concern and support. Your help will provide great comfort to both Thuy and our entire family.
Bui Thi Nu
Dong Thap Province, Vietnam