US House Members urge Secretary Clinton to secure Dr. Nguyen Quoc Quan’s release

Members of Congress|04/05/2012|Vietnam Today|

In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Dan Lungren and five other House members urged the State Department “to secure the immediate release of Dr. Nguyen Quoc Quan so he can be reunited with his wife and two sons.”

May 4, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

RE: Detention of U.S. citizen and democracy activist Dr. Nguyen Quoc Quan by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Dear Secretary Clinton:

We write to express our deep concern over the arrest and detention of Dr. Nguyen Quoc Quan on April 17, 2012 upon arriving at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Dr. Nguyen Quoc Quan is a former high school teacher in Vietnam, a well-respected mathematics researcher and human rights defender. He received his doctorate from North Carolina State University and is a current resident of California.

As a member of Viet Tan, a pro-democracy party that aims to establish democracy and reform Vietnam through peaceful means, Dr. Quan has been active in promoting understanding of nonviolent tactics for political change among Vietnamese activists.

We are deeply troubled by reports in Vietnamese state media that Dr. Quan is being charged with “terrorism” for allegedly possessing educational documents on his laptop on leadership skills and nonviolent political advocacy. As the Wall Street Journal points out in a recent editorial: “Hanoi has taken to arresting American citizens for ‘crimes’ that aren’t crimes in any normal country.”

At a time when Vietnam has expressed the desire to increase economic and security exchanges with the United States, it is not acceptable for Hanoi to intensify its crackdown on peaceful activists and disregard laws and norms observed by the international community. The detention of Dr. Quan is the latest case of “rule by law” in which the Vietnamese government is abusing vague national security provisions as the pretext to arrest and detain individuals who peacefully advocate for religious and political freedom.

We urge the State Department to secure the immediate release of Dr. Nguyen Quoc Quan so he can be reunited with his wife and two sons. Thank you for your time and prompt attention to this matter.


Daniel E. Lungren
Member of Congress

Loretta Sanchez
Member of Congress

Zoe Lofgren
Member of Congress

Brad Sherman
Member of Congress

Ed Royce
Member of Congress

Frank Wolf
Member of Congress

PDF - 595.1 kb
Letter to Secretary Clinton, May 4th 2012 (pdf)