September 24, 2010
The Honourable Kevin Rudd MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs
House of Representatives
PO Box 6022
Canberra QLD 2600
I am writing on behalf of Mr. Duc Truong, member of Viet Tan, the Vietnam Reform Party of Queensland. Mr. Truong is a constituent and someone you have met previously in Canberra and Brisbane.
The Viet Tan aim to establish democracy and reform in Vietnam throught peaceful means. Viet Tan members in our community are urging the Government to represent their voice to Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong and President Nguyen Minh Triet to release political prisoners in Vietnam.
Four activists are currently imprisoned by the Vietnamese Government for crimes against the state relating to their pro democracy and human rights activities. Pham Minh Hoang, a lecturer a the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, was arrested on August 13, 2010. His family has received no word of him since his arrest. It is believed that he was arrested for articles posted on his blog. Pastor Duong Kim Khai was arrested on August 10, 2010. In the last ten years he has assisted disposed farmers of all faiths in Ben Tre in Dong Thap provinces petition for redress of their grievances. Nguyen Thanh Tam and Ms. Tran Thi Thuy have also been arrested for campaigning for social justice for farmers in these provinces. Members of Viet Tan believe the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is breaching the rights of its citizens by criminalising free speech and peaceful political protest.
I ask that you consider these issues when representing the Australian Government to the Vietnamese Government.
Given the nature of the situation I ask that you consider this matter urgently.
Bernie Ripoll MP
Federal Member for Oxley