December 5, 2007
On the afternoon of December 4, 2007, officials from the US Consulate in Saigon visited Dr. Nguyen Quoc Quan in prison. In an hour long meeting, consular officials inquired about his health, presented a letter from family, and discussed the assistance provided by the US Embassy.
On November 30th, the US Consulate also visited with Leon Truong in a meeting limited to 30 minutes in the presence of a prison minder. That same day, an official from the French Consulate saw journalist Nguyen Thi Thanh Van, whose pen name is Thanh Thao, in an equally short visit overseen by security officials.
The fact that the Vietnamese authorities finally conceded to a consular visit with Dr. Nguyen Quoc Quan after 16 days of detention—including initially denying the arrest and then stonewalling visitation requests—is the direct result of external pressure.
Viet Tan affirms that:
All the democracy activists arrested by the Hanoi regime were engaging in the same peaceful, nonviolent activities. They must be treated equally before the law, not discriminated based on citizenship. Hence, we urge increased pressure on the regime to permit official visits for Mr. Nguyen The Vu (Vietnamese), Mr. Nguyen Viet Trung (Vietnamese), and Mr. Somsak Khunmi (Thai).
The Viet Tan members and supporters under detention continue to be treated as prisoners, convicted of crimes in the state-controlled press without regard for any judicial process. Thus, we call for increased pressure on the regime to cease these actions. Authorities must grant the detained individuals access to defense attorneys in Vietnam or from abroad, and visits from family in Vietnam or from abroad.
Viet Tan extends our gratitude to all individuals and organizations, elected officials and embassies of countries that have supported the basic rights of our members and supporters currently detained in Vietnam.
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Chi Dang +1 (408) 228-4892