Vietnam: Mr. Nguyen Hoang Hai (Dieu Cay) | Letter

Re: Mr. Nguyen Hoang Hai (Dieu Cay)

To: President Nguyen Minh Triet and others

From: Darlene Kavka, member of LRWC

Date: 2008-12-11

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is gravely concerned for the safety and wellbeing of human rights advocate, Mr. Nguyen Hoang Hai. It appears Mr. Nguyen Hoang Hai has been prosecuted for and convicted of offences he did not commit. It is impossible for people of good conscience to conclude anything other than that Mr. Nguyen Hoang Hai has been targeted in this manner as a means of punishing him for his courageous record as a human rights advocate.

We are writing to urge each of you take responsibility for the following protective and remedial actions:

1. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Nguyen Hoang Hai.

2. Release Mr. Nguyen Hoang Hai immediately and unconditionally. Further deprivation of Mr. Nguyen Hoang Hai’s liberty can only be described as arbitrary, given the sole purpose is to sanction his human rights activities.

3. Put an immediate end to all acts of harassment, including the abuse of your judicial system, against all Vietnamese human rights advocates.

4. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially :

Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, and

Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;

5. More generally, we urge you to ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Viet Nam.

Vietnam as a nation has a great deal to be proud of and a great deal to work towards. LRWC is monitoring this situation and wait for your response to this appeal. LRWC joins other organizations in encouraging you to act immediately to take the appropriate steps reagarding Mr. Nguyen Hoang Hai, and all the other human rights defenders in Vietnam: let them go free. We urge you to let the legacy of this generation in Vietnamese history be that of strong character, unthreatened by idiological and political diversity. Stand by your honourable citizenry. They ask no more of you than that you live up to your word by honouring the human rights commitments Vietnam has already made.