Amnesty International, June 13, 2013: Jailed Scholar on Hunger Strike
Dr Cu Huy Ha Vu, a Vietnamese legal scholar, has been on hunger strike since 27 May in protest at his treatment in prison. He is serving a seven-year sentence for “conducting propaganda” against the state. He has a chronic heart condition, and his health is at risk.
Dr Cu Huy Ha Vu, a 56-year-old prisoner of conscience, was arrested in November 2010 and accused of calling for a multi-party political system in online articles and giving interviews to foreign media. In April 2011 he was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment and three years’ house arrest on release for “conducting propaganda” against the state. He had previously attempted to sue government officials, including the Prime Minister: once in an attempt to stop a controversial bauxite-mining project, and later – two months before his arrest – to challenge the legality of a decree banning class-action petitions. He is now in Prison No 5, Department of Police, Yen Dinh in the northern province of Thanh Hoa.
In November 2012 he made a complaint, in accordance with prison regulations, to the Director of Prison No 5 about his treatment in prison, in particular abuses by one of the guards. He claimed that his health had deteriorated because of ill-treatment, that he had been prevented from receiving food and other necessities brought by his family, and that he was not allowed to receive evidence from his trial for use in his appeal. No response to his complaint was made and on 12 May 2013, Dr Cu Huy Ha Vu wrote again to the prison director, saying that he would go on hunger strike in two weeks if a resolution was not found. He began his hunger strike on 27 May.
Dr Cu Huy Ha Vu’s wife visited him on 1 June in the presence of prison guards. In a letter calling for help, she described him as very weak. The family’s petition letters to the authorities have received no response.
Please write immediately in English, Vietnamese or your own language:
– Demanding the release of Dr Cu Huy Ha Vu, a prisoner of conscience detained only for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression;
– Urging the authorities to instruct the prison authorities in the meantime to take immediate steps to find a solution to the complaints made by Dr Cu Huy Ha Vu, which would lead to him ending his hunger strike; and
– Calling on them to ensure that Dr Cu Huy Ha Vu has access to any medical attention he may require and is treated in accordance with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 24 JULY 2013 TO:
Minister of Public Security
Lt Gen Tran Dai Quang
Ministry of Public Security
44 Yet Kieu Street, Hoan Kiem District
Ha Noi, Viet Nam
Fax: +844 3942 0223
Online contact form: http://www.mps.gov.vn/web/guest/contact_english
Salutation: Dear Minister
And copies to:
Chairman of the National Assembly
Nguyen Sinh Hung
Office of the National Assembly
35 Ngo Quyen St, Hoan Kiem District
Ha Noi, Viet Nam
Online contact form: http://www.na.gov.vn/htx/English/C1330/default.asp?sAction=lienhe#I7QInwBAqPhn
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Name: Cu Huy Ha Vu
Gender m/f: m
UA: 152/13 Index: ASA 41/002/2013 Issue Date: 13 June 2013