February 9, 2007
Shortly after Human Rights Watch announcement, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs was quick to respond when enquired about the current state of political and human rights violations, claiming that “Vietnam has no political oppression” and condemning Human Rights Watch for issuing distorted information about the situation in Vietnam, yet cases of human rights abuses and political repression continue to occur on a daily basis. After arresting and interrogating Attorneys Nguyen Van Dai, Le Thi Cong Nhan, Engineer Bach Ngoc Duong, Nguyen Phuong Anh and Pham Van Troi without warrant on February 3, the Vietnamese authorities now turn to their family as a tactic to intimidate and pressure these activists from voicing their opinions.
After being assaulted by the police during the arrest on February 3, Mr. Bach Ngoc Duong and his family were forcibly taken to the local government office where they were denounced in public trial and accused of espionage. The local authority then forced Mr. Bach’s family to sign an agreement of self-detaining Mr. Bach at home.
Similarly, on the evening of February 8, Public Security A42 mobilized about 200 people aged between 60 and 90, whom they called themselves the People Assembly, to Bach Khoa’s local government office. It is there that they put attorney Nguyen Van Dai, a Hellman/Hammett prize recipient, on public trial denouncing him of being a reactionary element and treason. The public denouncement lasted more than 2 hours in which Dai was not allowed to speak. They then forced him to sign a confession statement and demanded to provoke Dai’s attorney license. However, Mr. Nguyen Van Dai refused to sign and responded, “You may kill me, but I will never sign”.
Such cowardly plots by the Vietnamese authorities above only further expose the severity of human rights and political oppression in Vietnam. Viet Tan condemn these acts of terrorism and calls on international leaders and human rights organizations to demand the Vietnamese Authorities immediately ceasing all forms of persecutions against those who peacefully practicing their basic rights.