Death of Dissident and Spiritual Leader Thich Huyen Quang
International PEN mourns the death of Buddhist leader, writer, and dissident, Venerable Thich Huyen Quang, on July 25, 2008, at the age of 87 after a long illness. Thich Huyen Quang had spent most of the past 30 years in prison or under house arrest for his work in support of religious freedom, human rights, and political reform in Vietnam. PEN continues to call for the release of all those detained in Vietnam solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to free expression, in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Vietnam is a signatory.
Ven. Thich Huyen Quang, leader of the banned Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam and author of books on Buddhism and Oriental philosophy, was also a respected religious scholar. In 1978, he was proposed by Nobel Peace laureates Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. Despite his detention under house arrest since 1982 for alleged "anti-government activities," he continued his public appeals for religious freedom and freedom of speech. Since 2003 he had been held incommunicado at Nguyen Thieu Monastery, Binh Dinh Province, where his funeral was held under tight security last week.
Write A Letter
- mourning the death of writer and Buddhist leader Ven. Thich Huyen Quang, who spent the last 30 years of his life in prison or under house arrest for his work in support of religious freedom and human rights;
- reminding the Vietnamese authorities of their obligations to Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Vietnam is a signatory, and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all writers currently detained in Vietnam.
Send Your Letter To
His Excellency Nguyên Minh Triêt
President, Socialist Republic of Vietnam
c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Please note that there are no fax numbers available for the Vietnamese authorities, so you may wish to ask the diplomatic representative for Vietnam in your country to forward your appeals and to intervene in the case.