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TM Ban Điều Hành Blog

24 September 2013

Human rights defender Le Quoc Quan and to call for his immediate and unconditional release!...

Đăng bởi lúc 7:31 Sáng 24/09/13

VRNs (Sept 24 - Saigon - We are writing this letter to call on the U.S. government, other free world governments, and all human rights organizations to support human rights defender Le Quoc Quan and to call for his immediate and unconditional release.
Le Quoc Quan, 41, is a lawyer and a blogger. He is one of the most prominent and respected human rights defenders in Vietnam. He was arrested on December 27, 2012 when he was taking his three children to school and has been held incommunicado since – leaving his young wife to take care of their three young children and provide for the family all by herself. The authorities have only allowed him some visits by his lawyers, but not his family.
Mr. Le is scheduled to go on trial on October 2 , 2013 on trumped up charges of tax evasion. The continued detention of Le Quoc Quan is akin to him being punished even before the trial has commenced. This is a clear violation of his right to being presumed innocent. His trial is the most recent in a wave of government prosecutions of bloggers and right activists.
Vietnamese courts lack independence and impartiality, and in cases like that of Le Quoc Quan, the outcomes are generally determined by political considerations. The charges of “tax evasion” carry a maximum of seven years of imprisonment and a significant fine. The Vietnamese government has previously used tax evasion charges to discredit and deter prominent blogger Nguyen Van Hai (Dieu Cay) in 2008.
Before his current detention, Le Quoc Quan wrote prolifically on his popular blog about human rights, civil rights, political pluralism, religious freedom, and other issues not covered by the state-controlled Vietnamese media. In particular, his blog documented human rights violations against him, his family and fellow activists. He has also been involved in a series of peaceful protests in Hanoi against claims by China to sovereignty over parts of the South China Sea which Vietnam says are within its maritime territory. He’s been jailed before, interrogated and beaten. His family has also been targeted. A cousin and another brother have also been jailed.
By using spuriously devised prosecutions and imprisonments against peaceful bloggers, and human rights activists, Hanoi is only demonstrating to the world community its lack of freedom of expression and its disregard of human rights. Vietnam is becoming more and more notorious for its heavy-handed actions against peaceful activists who criticize the policies of the one-party communist state. Since the beginning of this year, more than 50 people have been convicted and jailed in political trials.
We strongly urge the Vietnamese government to end these spurious prosecutions, drop politically motivated charges against Mr. Le Quoc Quan, and release him immediately.
We earnestly call on all free world political parties and governments, the Human Rights Organizations, the Amnesty Internationals, the International Commission on Human Rights, the World Communication Agencies, and any other organizations with special concerns for democracy and human rights in Vietnam to publicly support Mr. Le Quoc Quan and demand his immediate and unconditional release.
Respectfully yours,