Vietnam Free Expression Newsletter No. 34/2017 – Week of October 16-22
Greetings from Huong, Ella, and Kaylee from The 88 Project! We are bringing you news, analysis, and actions regarding human rights and civil society in Vietnam during the week of October 16-22. Female activist Tran Thi Xuan was arrested on October 17 under Article 79. The local community has rallied around her. Environmental activists in Dong Tam are worried after the government went back on its promise not to bring charges upon those involved in the April 2016 land standoff. Former prisoner of conscience Nguyen Xuan Nghia has been questioned in relation to the Brotherhood for Democracy, and Brotherhood member Nguyen Bac Truyen is still being detained in an unknown location following his July 30 arrest; please take action for him, below. Nguyen Van Tuc, also arrested for alleged ties to the group, has been denied a lawyer almost two months into his detention. Former prisoner of conscience Pham Thanh Nghien has released a bilingual memoir detailing her time behind bars. And ten civil society organizations have launched a new campaign, #StopTheCrackdownVN, aimed at increasing visibility for activists arrested in 2017. Take action by using the #StopTheCrackdownVN hashtag on your social media channels.
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HUMAN RIGHTS & CIVIL SOCIETY
RELEVANT NEWS & ANALYSIS
A Wide-Ranging Agenda: What Trump’s First Asia-Pacific Tour Means: “Aside from his APEC engagements, Trump will meet with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Vietnam. The bilateral agenda has not been clarified in any detail, but it is likely that Trump will continue the rapprochement between Hanoi and Washington that was considerably accelerated by the Obama administration during its final year in office.”
Carl Thayer’s Background Briefing – Vietnam- Death Sentence for Corruption ex-PetroVN Chair: “These harsh sentences are mainly for public effect to show the population that government leaders are serious about ending large scale corruption. These sentences will have little deterrent effect on endemic corruption in Vietnam because the root cause is the lack of good governance including an independent system of audit, investigation and prosecution that is free from political influence. The shock of these sentences, like a booster inoculation, will wear off over time.”
Pew Research Center, Globally, Broad Support for Representative and Direct Democracy: “But many also endorse nondemocratic alternatives: […] While military rule is the least popular political system tested on the survey, even this finds some support across the globe. Notable minorities in many nations consider it a good way to govern, and half or more express this view in Vietnam, Indonesia, India and South Africa.”
Blogger Phan Kim Khanh, 24, faces trial on October 25. He was arrested on March 21 under Article 88 for running Facebook, YouTube, and blog sites with anti-corruption and pro-democracy content. He faces up to 12 years in prison. Before his arrest, he was in his last year of university. His lawyer, Ha Huy Son, reports that Khanh is in good spirits but his health is failing. Learn more about his background and current status, here. His family continues to need support in order to send him supplies in prison. Please contact us if you can assist.
Use the hashtag #StopTheCrackdownVN to share information on your social media pages about the ongoing crackdown and the imprisoned activists.
Please take Amnesty International’s Urgent Action for Nguyen Bac Truyen, whose location is still unknown almost three months after his arrest.
© 2017 The 88 Project