Remarks before the Vietnam Congressional Caucus
Nguyen Van Loi
US Capitol Building
June 11, 2015
My name is Nguyen Van Loi and I am the husband of former political prisoner Dang Ngoc Minh and I am the father of former political prisoner Nguyen Dang Vinh Phuc as well as political prisoner Nguyen Dang Minh Man.
My wife and my son have been released from prison my currently, my daughter Nguyen Dang Minh Man is still serving an 8 year sentence in a prison in Thanh Hoa.
My daughter is 30 years old this year. She began her activism at the age of 24. Man does not speak much, but she possesses a spirit of resilience and determination. Social injustice has pushed her to speak out.
Man has a deep love of photography and because of her concerns for social injustice, she began photographing police brutality. Man is a young woman who refuses to accept Chinese encroachment on Vietnamese sovereignty, and because of this has participated in peaceful protests to speak up on this issue. She has also written “The Paracel and Spratly Islands belong to Vietnam” on walls on the streets of Vietnam to raise her concerns. She is a member of Viet Tan.
And for these reasons, they sentenced my daughter to 8 years in prison, under the crime of “plotting to overthrow the government.”
As a voice of conscience who never accepts guilt, the authorities have been particularly brutal and inhumane toward her. They feed her rice with salt, only give her 1 liter of drinking water a day, not allowing her any water for hygienic reasons, and do not give her a sleeping net. She is only given only one change of clothing for about 15 to 20 days in a month.
Minh Man is currently in solitary confinement and not allowed to interact with anyone, as she is a political prisoner. There are only 3 people left in the block, and the are Nguyen Dang Minh Man, Ta Phong Tan, and Can Thi Theu; however each person is in a separate cell and cannot see each other, trapped between 4 walls of the prison cell. In order to protest her imprisonment, Minh Man started a hunger strike along with Ta Phong Tan and Can Thi Theu. They have finished two hunger strikes, each time lasting 15 days: once in December 2014 and once in March 2015. And at this moment, voice of conscience Ta Phong Tan is on a hunger strike.
In order to isolate Minh Man from her family, the authorities have moved her to a prison in Thanh Hoa, very far from her house. In order to visit her, I have to change my motorbike 4 times, each time traveling 40 hours to see my daughter.
My daughter and family have to endure this for another 4 years.
I plead with members of the US government from the bottom of my heart to please step in for my daughter and demand the Government of Vietnam to release Nguyen Dang Minh Man immediately, as well as all voices of conscience.
Please receive words of sincere gratefulness from my family and loved ones for your support.