December 11, 2007
Today in Vietnam, the government released Mr. Leon (Van Ba) Truong, whom authorities detained for the last 24 days and called a “terrorist” in an unrelenting campaign in the official press.
In regards to this development, Viet Tan affirms:
The Vietnamese government was forced to release Leon Truong for lack of compelling reason to convict him in an open trial before international public opinion.
The Vietnamese government made this concession following intense advocacy from Vietnamese at home and overseas, contributing to strong pressure from the American government, international human rights groups, and world opinion.
The release of Mr. Truong completely invalidates the slander and fabricated charges by authorities against him and his associates. The Vietnamese government must be held accountable for its irresponsible charges and behavior.
All six members and supporters of Viet Tan—Nguyen Quoc Quan, Nguyen Thi Thanh Van, Leon Truong, Nguyen The Vu, Nguyen Viet Trung, and Somsak Khunmi—were detained for the same reason. From a legal standpoint, all six—regardless of citizenship—must be freed at the same time.
On this occasion, Viet Tan:
Expresses our sincere appreciation to all Vietnamese individuals and organizations, international human rights groups, and governments and parliamentarians from many countries for pressuring the Vietnamese government to free this democracy activist. We are especially thankful to individuals and groups inside Vietnam who, despite harassment and repression, spoke out in support.
Reaffirms that the activities of Viet Tan’s members and supporters are necessary and legitimate for achieving democratic change in Vietnam. The arrests and fabricated charges by the Vietnamese government were wrong from the beginning. The release of all the detained individuals is mandatory, not a good-will gesture.
Viet Tan’s members will continue to promote the ideas and methods of nonviolent struggle. This is an effort that Viet Tan believes is necessary to bring about a free and democratic Vietnam.
Duy Hoang +1 (202) 470-1678
Chi Dang +1 (408) 228-4892