November 27, 2007
Through the official Vietnamese press on November 27, 2007, the Ministry of Public Security acknowledged the arrests of US citizen Nguyen Quoc Quan and Vietnamese citizens Nguyen The Vu and Nguyen Viet Trung. Communist authorities also published details about Viet Tan’s efforts to distribute leaflets in Vietnam. Juxtaposed in the details on several arrested Viet Tan members and supporters, an official newspaper also published pictures of two alleged Vietnamese-Americans—Le Van Phan and Nguyen Thi Thinh—who were held for reportedly smuggling a firearm into the country on November 23rd.
Based on these latest developments, Viet Tan affirms that:
1. Pressured by international public opinion, elected officials from around the world, and the American, French, and Thai embassies, the Vietnamese communist government acknowledged the arrests of Dr. Nguyen Quoc Quan, Mr. Nguyen The Vu, and Mr. Nguyen Viet Trung after ten days.
2. The act of purposely hiding the detention of a foreign national by the Vietnamese communist government is a violation of international norms and laws.
3. The Vietnamese communist authorities understood that they could not continue jailing democracy activists for peacefully promoting ideas on nonviolent struggle and thus had to fabricate a link with two individuals who allegedly smuggled a firearm into Vietnam—in order to paint Viet Tan as a terrorist organization. Viet Tan categorically denies any association with Mr. Le Van Phan or Ms. Nguyen Thi Thinh. Furthermore, Viet Tan does not support the use of violence for any reason.
4. Viet Tan challenges the communist authorities to publish in Vietnamese newspapers all documents from Viet Tan which the Ministry of Public Security considers works of sabotage or violence so that the people of Vietnam can be informed and come to their own conclusion.
5. Viet Tan is concerned for the well-being of the six individuals arrested on November 17 & 20, and whose photos appear in the official press. We urge foreign embassies to request immediate visitation rights with their citizens. We are especially concerned for Somsak Khunmi, Nguyen The Vu and Nguyen Viet Trung, and ask human rights organization and the Thai and western embassies to give attention to their safety.
Viet Tan would like to extend our appreciation to all individuals and organizations, elected officials, and the American, French and Thai embassies for their requests and pressure on the Vietnamese communist government to publicly acknowledge the above-mentioned arrests. We look forward to your continued support so that all political prisoners in Vietnam, including those unlawfully arrested above, will soon have the freedom to work for democratic change in Vietnam through peaceful, nonviolent means.
Duy Hoang +1 (202) 470-1678
Chi Dang +1 (408) 228-4892