Award-Winning Writer and Journalist Tran Khai Thanh Thuy (F) Released into Exile
PEN International welcomes the release from prison of writer and journalist Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, but is saddened that she has been forced into exile. PEN continues to call for her conviction to be quashed, and for the immediate and unconditional release of all those currently detained in Vietnam in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Vietnam is a signatory.
The following is from a July 1, 2011 PEN American Center press release:
PEN American Center today welcomed news that jailed Vietnamese writer and PEN Honorary Member Tran Khai Thanh Thuy was released from a prison in Hanoi last week, and has arrived safely in the United States. Thanh Thuy was joined by her 13-year-old daughter, Do An Khue.
On June 22, Thanh Thuy, who was serving a three-year sentence on a trumped-up assault charge, was abruptly released from the Hanoi prison camp where she was incarcerated, taken to Hanoi International Airport, and placed on a plane that would fly her into exile in the United States. She was force to leave behind almost all of her personal items at the prison, including poetry written in detention, and was permitted less than 20 minutes to say good-bye to her husband, who remains in Hanoi. Thanh Thuy and her daughter arrived in San Francisco on Friday, June 24...
Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, aged 50, is a renowned novelist, poet, essayist, and editor of the underground Vietnamese democracy journal To Quoc (Fatherland) Review, and a member of the pro-democracy group Bloc 8406. She was first imprisoned in October 2009 and accused of assault after she and her husband were accosted by a group of men suspected of being plainclothes police. Thanh Thuy was repeatedly assaulted by authorities and inmates at the behest of prison officials, and her health declined rapidly during her incarceration. She suffers from diabetes.
Tran Khai Thanh Thuy was arrested on October 8, 2009, after publicly expressing her support for six dissidents facing trial. On the day of her arrest an incident took place near Thuy’s home in which two men reportedly attacked Thuy’s husband, and she intervened on his defense. She was subsequently questioned and charged with assault, although it is widely believed that she herself was in fact the victim of the attack. On February 5, 2010, she was sentenced by the People’s Court in Dong Da District of Ha Noi to three and a half years in prison and 47 months of probationary detention. At the same trial, Thuy’s husband was given a two-year suspended prison sentence and 47 months of probation.
Voice of America Interview with Tran Khai Thanh Thuy (in Vietnamese)
Write A Letter
- Welcoming the release of Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, but expressing concern that she has been forced into exile;
- Continuing to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all those currently detained in Vietnam in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Vietnam is a signatory.
Send Your Letter To
His Excellency Nguyên Minh Triêt
President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Please copy your appeals to the diplomatic representative of Vietnam in your country if possible.
Please send appeals immediately. Check with PEN if sending appeals after July 31, 2011: ftw [at] pen.org