Statement of concern over the state of health and current conditions of imprisonment of Mr. Cù Huy Hà Vũ by scholars and professionals around the world


Mr. Nguyễn Sinh Hùng, Chairman of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Mr. Trương Tấn Sang, President

Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, Prime Minister

Gen. Trần Đại Quang, Minister of Public Security

Nguyễn Phú Trọng, General Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party

Dear Gentlemen:

We, who have signed this letter below, are a group of scholars and professionals from around the world, who are connected by our mutual interest and engagement with Vietnam studies.  Many of us have dedicated the better parts of our careers and lives to support the study and development of this beautiful country and people.  We write this letter as friends of Vietnam, while always trying to keep in mind what is in the best interests of the nation and its people.

We are writing to express our deep concerns about the current conditions of imprisonment and state of health of Mr. Cù Huy Hà Vũ.  We also write in support of the urgent plea on this matter made by Mr. Vũ’s wife, Mrs. Nguyễn Thị Dương Hà, on June 4, 2013.  Mr. Vũ is a prisoner of conscience, who was arrested in November 2010 on charges of “conducting propaganda” against the State for peaceful activities to advocate for democracy, the protection of human rights and other matters of social and environmental concern.  He is currently serving a seven-year in Prison No. 5 in Thanh Hoá Province, since April 2011.

During his time at Prison No. 5, we understand that Mr. Vũ has been subjected to abuse by prison guards and denied basic rights and services, such as rights to food and basic necessities from his family, right to medical services and treatment, and right to communicate his grievances to the relevant authorities.  We understand that Mr. Vũ’s health is currently in a perilous state, which is all the more urgent because of his pre-existing medical conditions.  As we are sure you will agree, these are matters of serious concern that require urgent action.

For these reasons, we strongly request the relevant authorities to intervene immediately on this matter to ensure the safety and security of Mr. Vũ. 

We also urge the authorities to reconsider their position on all prisoners of conscience in Vietnam and rather seek resolution to their differences through dialogue and constructive engagement.

We thank you for your attention to this matter and we trust that you will respond in a manner that reflects the civility and dignity of Vietnam.

We also express our deepest sympathies to Mrs. Nguyễn and the family of Mr. Vũ, who all suffer terribly from the current situation.

June 17, 2013

1. Cari Coe, PhD Assistant Professor of International Affairs, Lewis & Clark College, USA

2. Thomas Crosbie, Doctoral candidate, Yale University, USA

3. Lisa Drummond, Associate Professor, Urban Studies Programme, Department of Social Science, York University, Canada

4. Wynn Gadkar-Wilcox, Associate Professor, Western Connecticut State University, USA

5. Lelia Green, PhD, Professor of Communications, Edith Cowan University, Australia

6. Hồ Tài Huệ Tâm, Kenneth T. Young Professor of Sino-Vietnamese History, Harvard University, USA

7. Bernard Huber, Master student, McGill University, Canada

8. Huỳnh Kim, Lecturer, Australian National University, Australia

9. Pierre Journoud, PhD Researcher and lecturer, University of Paris I Panthéon- La Sorbonne, France

10. Ben Kervliet, Emeritus Professor, Australian National University, Australia, USA

11. Daniel King, PhD Former academic at Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University, and University of Notre Dame, Australia

12. J. Kirkpatrick, PhD Professor, Bennington College, retired, USA

13. Danielle Labbé, Assistant Professor, University of Montréal, Canada

14. Scott Laderman, Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota, Duluth, USA

15. James Laverty CEO, American Red Cross, Detroit, retired, independent researcher, USA

16. Lê Xuân Khoa, Adjunct professor, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, retired USA

17. Jonathan D. London, Professor, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

18. Patrick McAllister, Professor of Anthropology, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

19. Jason Morris-Jung, Doctoral candidate, University of California, Berkeley, USA

20. Ngô Lâm, Archivist, Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Netherlands

21. Ngô Vĩnh Long, Professor, University of Maine, USA

22. Nguyễn Hồng Bắc, Researcher, Institute of Economics and Politics, Academy of Social Sciences, Vietnam

23. Nguyễn Điền, Independent researcher, Australia

24. Nguyễn Đức Hiệp, Atmospheric Scientist, Office of Environment & Heritage, NSW, Australia

25. Nguyễn Thị Hường, Doctoral candidate, Indiana University, USA

26. Phạm Quỳnh Hương, Institute of Sociology, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Vietnam

27. Sophie (Sophia) Quinn-Judge, Associate Professor, USA

28. Christina Schwenkel, Associate Professor, University of California, Riverside, USA

29. T Văn Tài, PhD Attorney, former research associate, Harvard Law School, USA

30. Philip Taylor, PhD Senior Fellow, Australian National University, Australia

31. Thái Văn Cầu, Space Systems Specialist, USA

32. William S. Turley, Emeritus Professor, Southern Illinois University, France, USA

33. Vũ Thị Quỳnh Giao, Member, Ho Chi Minh City Hub of Global Shapers Community, Vietnam