International intellectuals call for the release of Lawyer Le Quoc Quan

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan-Dung
01 Hoang Hoa Tham – Ba Dinh – Ha Noi

Neustadt, 25.11.2013

The following officials will receive a copy of this petition:

• The Ambassador of Vietnam in Germany
• Mrs Catherine Ashton, Vice-President of the European Commission, Brussels, Belgium
• Foreign Minister of Germany, Dr. Guido Westerwelle, Berlin
• Mr. Markus Löning, Commissioner of the German Government for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, Berlin

Concern about Le Quoc-Quan

Dear Prime Minister,

This letter is written to express my deep concern over the treatment and the lack of due process in the case of prominent human rights lawyer Le-Quoc-Quan. As a lawyer, he has represented numerous human rights activists who have been persecuted. He served as consultant for many civil society groups such as Asian Development Bank and Swedish International Development Agency.

Mr. Le-Quoc-Quan was arrested in December 2012, and charged with tax evasion. According to the family members’ accounts, the evidences against him were fabricated by the police to silent his call for change. Many international NGOs, such as Reporters sans frontieres and English PEN, have called on the Vietnamese government to drop these politically motivated charges against Le-Quoc-Quan. While being detained, Quan was kept without contact with his family for a prolonged period of time. On July 8, 2013, Vietnam court abruptly postponed the trial of Mr. Le-Quoc-Quan, saying the judge scheduled to hear the case was ill, while lawyers and relatives said the hearing was put off to avoid publicity and international attention. In his trial on October 2, 2013, he was sentenced to 30 months in prison, and his co-defendant was sentenced to 8 months in prison. Both of these sentences are disgraces when being measured against standard justice systems around the world.

I am very concerned that these falsified charges and inhuman treatments are commonly used against peaceful pro-democracy activists, such as Le Quoc Quan, Dieu Cay, Ta Phong Tan and many others. They represent stains on your government’s troublesome human rights record. Furthermore, they are indications that the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has and continues failing to meet international obligations required as a state member of UN.

May I remind you that your government is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the rights to due process and a fair trial. Mr. Le-Quoc-Quan should be released and freed from all charges.

I urge you Mr. Prime Minister, and call on scholars around the world to raise their voices in demanding the release of Mr. Le-Quoc-Quan. All arresting and detaining citizens for peacefully organizing themselves and for exercising their freedom of speech must end.

Yours sincerely,

Prof. Dr. Johannes Kals
Initiator of the initiative to free Mr. Le-Quoc-Quan

Prominent joint signatories:

• Mrs. Vera Lengsfeld, civil rights activist in the DDR, former member of Federal German Parliament, Federal Cross of Merit
• Mr. Ingo Röthlingshöfer, mayor of Neustadt an der Weinstraße, chairman of district chapter of the CDU

Further joint signatories:

• Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Anders, Speyer, Germany
• Prof. Dr. Thomas Bäumer, Stuttgart, Germany
• Dr. med. Jörg Breitmaier, Chefarzt, ärztlicher Direktor, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany
• Laywer Pierre Degoul, Neuilly sur Seine, France
• Laywer Alexandra Dumitresco, Antony, France
• Dr. Maryam Taheri Fard, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
• Dr. Arndt Führ, Bad Kreuznach, Germany
• Prof. Dr. Arnd Götzelmann, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany
• Prof. Dr. med. Stefan Grüne, Germany
• Dr. med. Alexander Hammer, Nürnberg, Germany
• Prof. Dr. Eveline Häusler, Karlsruhe, Germany
• Prof. Dr. Bruno Hildenbrand, Jena, Germany
• Dr. Ansgar Hohmann, Ulm, Germany
• Prof. Dr. Lieselotte Ihle-Schmidt, Heidelberg, Germany
• Dr. med. Helene Kamb, Neustadt a.d.W., Germany
• Prof. Dr. Franz Knapp, Neustadt a.d.W., Germany
• Prof. Dr. Werner Krämer, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany
• Dr. med. Hartwig Neumann, Neustadt a.d.W. , Germany
• Prof. Dr. Michael Schmidt, Bingen, Germany
• Dr. med. Christian Schöndorf, Neustadt a.d.W., Germany
• Dr. Bernd Schumacher, Heidelberg, Germany
• Dr. med. Karl-Heinz Spörkmann, Landau, Germany
• Dr. Michael Stapper, Mainz, Germany
• Dr. med. Margarita Straubinger-Schöndorf, Neustadt a.d.W., Germany
• Laywer Anne Tachon, Antony, France
• Dr. Christoph Vorwerk, Köln, Germany
• Prof. Michel Waldschmidt, Pierre & Marie Curie University, Paris, France, Germany
• Prof. Dr. Helmut Wannenwetsch, Mannheim, Germany
• Pater Dr. Heiner Wilmer, SCJ, Provinzial, Bonn, Germany

PDF - 76 kb
Joint letter to Nguyen Tan Dung (pdf)

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