Vietnamese Writer-Activist Tortured in Detention
PEN appealed to Vietnam’s embassy in Washington today for the release of activist Dang Xuan Dieu, who has reportedly suffered ongoing maltreatment at the hands of his jailers.
In January 2013, Dang Xuan Dieu was sentenced to 13 years in prison for “attempting to overthrow the government” based on his writings, in which he accused the government of religious persecution, and his work as a community organizer who advocated for education for children living in poverty and aid to people with disabilities.
According to reports, Dang Xuan Dieu has been held in solitary confinement, forced to sleep and eat next to his excrement, denied access to adequate food, clean drinking water, and regular showers, and subjected to humiliation and torture. Dang Xuan Dieu has been on prolonged hunger strikes since April 2014 to demand better treatment. In retaliation, prison officials have reportedly let other prisoners beat Dang Xuan Dieu and treat him as a “slave.”
International human rights organizations, elected officials, and foreign embassies in Hanoi have called for Dang Xuan Dieu’s immediate release. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has ruled that Dang Xuan Dieu and his fellow activists’ detention was arbitrary and unlawful.
The Vietnamese government must release Dang Xuan Dieu immediately and unconditionally and take all steps to ensure humane treatment and appropriate access to sanitary facilities for all prisoners in accordance with the country’s international obligations.
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In January 2013, together with 13 activists, Dang Xuan Dieu was sentenced to 13 years in prison for “attempting to overthrow the government” based on his writings that highlighted the Vietnamese government’s religious persecution and his work as a community organizer who advocated for education for children living in poverty and aid to people with disability. He is currently serving one of the longest politically motivated sentences in Vietnam. Dang Xuan Dieu has been held in solitary confinement and subject to physical and psychological abuse. On several occasions, prison officials forced Dang Xuan Dieu to “model” while other prisoners painted him into a “halfhuman/half-beast” figure.
Write A Letter
Please contact your foreign ministry or the Vietnamese embassy in your country with an appeal:
- to immediately cease the ill-treatment, physical, and psychological abuse of Dang Xuan Dieu while in arbitrary detention
- for Dang Xuan Dieu’s immediate and inconditional release
- for Vietnam to respect its obligations under the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which it signed last November
Send Your Letter To
Embassy of Vietnam
1233 20th St NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 861-0737
Fax: (202) 861-0917