Saigon, August 1, 2011
My husband, Professor Pham Minh Hoang from the Ho Chi Minh University of Technology, up until now has been detained for nearly 12 months and on August 10, 2011 he will be brought to trial on charges of “attempting to overthrow the socialist government” under article 79 of the penal code.
In the last 12 months, numerous international organizations, members of congress and parliament and friends around the world have raised concern and called on the Vietnamese government to release Hoang. We are most grateful for the support that we have received especially since the news of his trial on August 10. We wish to specifically express our deepest appreciation to the Consular, Embassy and the Government of France for making representation and working on Hoang’s case in the last 12 months. You know as well as we do that Pham Minh Hoang is innocent.
Hoang cannot be a criminal when all he did was to write and raise concern under the penname of Phan Kien Quoc, on ordinary issues such as education, health, social injustices, bauxite mining in the Central Highlands and the Chinese aggression in the East Sea. Today, these issues are widely discussed and published on most national media outlets.
Hoang cannot be a criminal when all he did was to care for the future of Vietnamese youth, by organizing IT seminars and leadership workshops. The purpose was to equip these young students with the confidence and scientific skills required to further advance their career and future success. Today, these courses are widely taught in Vietnam and around the world and are well liked among the university students.
Hoang cannot be a criminal when all he did was to join and participate in organizations while he was still living in France. The right to associate and participate in organization is a basic fundamental right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which both France and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam are signatory.
Meanwhile, the Vietnamese Authorities violates its own law by detaining him beyond the time limit permitted. His temporary detention was supposed to expire in April based on the Criminal Procedure Code, however Hoang is still currently being detained without an official order or notification to the family. When his lawyer came to see him in prison, they were constantly followed, monitored and their conversation was recorded either via video camera or there would be a policeman sitting next to them therefore they never had any private moment to discuss Hoang’s case. This also had a great psychological impact on Hoang as well.
As it comes closer to the trial, my family and I are becoming more increasingly anxious and worried. Despite numerous calls for his release and affirmation of his innocent from the international community, Hoang is still detained and will be brought to trial accusing of “attempting to overthrow the socialist government”, where he could be sentenced up to 15 years in prison. We acknowledge that you, especially the French government have done what you can for his freedom but we are concerned that if they could detain him for 12 months, then they may also can sentence him with a heavy prison term.
Therefore, we sincerely call on you to continue pressing for his release. We believe that only with your persistent pressure and especially intervention from the French government that Hoang will most likely be freed.
We are most grateful of your support.
Le Thi Kieu Oanh
423 Nguyen Tri Phuong Street, Ward 8, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City
Phone: +84 838 532 010; +84 93 83 45 343