Prominent Activist Sentenced
PEN International strongly protests the harsh seven-year prison sentence handed to dissident writer and activist Cu Huy Ha Vu on April 4, 2011. PEN is calling for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Vietnam is a signatory. It also seeks assurances of his well-being in detention.
Leading human rights defender and environmental activist Cu Huy Ha Vu was arrested on November 5, 2010, after publishing many critical articles online and giving interviews to foreign media. He was convicted of “conducting propaganda against the state” by a court in Ha Noi on April 4, 2011, and sentenced to seven years in prison and three years of house arrest at a trial which reportedly fell short of international standards of fairness.
Vu is the son of a celebrated poet who was also a leading revolutionary and confidante of the late President Ho Chi Minh. He is known for his environmental activism, and had previously twice sued the prime minister in an attempt to stop a controversial bauxite mining project that he believed would be harmful to the environment.
Dissident writers Pham Hong Son and Le Quoc Quan, both former main cases of PEN International, were reportedly arrested outside the court as they tried to observe Vu’s trial. They were held until April 13, 2011, before being released without charge.
Dozens of peaceful political critics and activists have been sentenced to long prison terms in Vietnam since its government began a concerted crackdown on freedom of expression in October 2009. They include pro-democracy activist and former Communist Party official Vi Duc Hoi, sentenced to eight years in prison and five years’ probationary detention on January 26, 2011, for posting articles online calling for democracy.
Write A Letter
- Protesting the harsh sentenced handed to dissident writer and activist Cu Huy Ha Vu solely for the peaceful expression of his views;
- Expressing serious concern about the large numbers of peaceful dissidents and Internet writers currently detained in Vietnam, many of whom are serving lengthy sentences;
- Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of dissident writer Cu Huy Ha Vu and 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;
- Seeking assurances of his well-being in detention, and assurances that he has full access to family visits and any necessary medical care.
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
Nguyên Tân Dung
1 Hoang Hoa Tham Street
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Please also send appeals to the diplomatic representative for Vietnam in your country if possible.
Please check with PEN if sending appeals after May 31, 2011: ftw [at] pen.org