April 5, 2008
Today, April 5th, communist authorities expelled from Vietnam three members of Viet Tan: Nguyen Thi Xuan Trang, Swiss citizen, Mai Huu Bao, American citizen, and Nguyen Tan Anh, Australian citizen.
The three individuals were released 48 hours after being detained on April 3rd at the Ministry of Public Security detention center on Nguyen Van Cu street, district 1, Saigon. They had come there to visit Nguyen Quoc Quan, Somsak Khunmi, Nguyen The Vu and Nguyen Viet Trung who have been held for over four months after distributing pro-democracy literature.
The request to make a humanitarian visit was not granted by prison officials. Instead, the three Viet Tan members were illegally held at the detention facility, had their mobile phones confiscated, and were prevented from having any communication with the outside. After they had gone missing for 24 hours, their friends alerted the Swiss, American and Australian consulates which made inquiries with Vietnamese authorities. Unable to fabricate or produce any criminal charges stemming from this humanitarian visit, the Hanoi government had to release the three individuals.
Viet Tan will continue to promote democratic change through peaceful, non-violent activities from inside Vietnam; and to lobby the international community to support the Vietnamese struggle for democracy and pressure the Hanoi regime to honor its commitments on human rights and rule of law.
Duy Hoang : +1 (202) 470-1678
Chi Dang : +1 (408) 228-4892