Blogger Trinh Kim Tien, HCM City, December 22, 2016: Before blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh was arrested for the crime of being a peaceful civil rights activist, she had often raised her voice to support Vietnamese prisoners of conscience and victims of injustice. Among them is Nguyen Huu Quoc Duy, whose appeal trial is going to take place on December 26, 2016. The day of Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh’s arrest, October 10, 2016, was actually the day she was taking Duy’s mother to visit him in prison.
The trial on August 23, 2016 ended with a guilty verdict for Duy. He was charged with the crime of disseminating anti-state information and materials, although what he had done actually was just sharing other people’s posts on his Facebook and showing his endorsement towards the acts of other social activists. Duy had never joined any protest, never written any anti-state piece. Duy had just expressed his frustration towards negative things in society. That costs him three years in prison. His arrest was aimed to deter those who begin to have a dissenting idea in mind without actually taking any action. But it is not going to work for people who are committed to make a difference in their society.
Blogger Quynh, now in detention, is unable to assist Duy’s family to receive legal aid, and cannot help Duy’s mother to bring the information about her son before the public opinion. I think we need to continue her pending good work. We have to let people know about ongoing injustices, and condemn the abuse of power of public officials who are supposed to enforce the law.
After a lot of struggle from Duy’s family, the Supreme Court of Da Nang finally allows two lawyers, attorney Nguyen Kha Thanh and attorney Vo An Don, to defend Huy in the up-coming appeal trial. In the trial of first instance, the Court in Khanh Hoa was resolute in rejecting the participation of these two lawyers.
More frustratingly, from the day of Duy’s arrest in November 2015 until the end of the trial of first instance in August 2016, Duy was allowed neither to see his mother nor to receive food supply from her. Until now, the authorities still deny Duy’s mother of the the right to visit him. The reason that has continually been given is Duy is being disciplined for violating some sorts of regulation and that takes away his rights to see his family. On October 31, 2016, Duy’s mother and a defense lawyer came to see Duy, but Duy was not allowed to see them. The laywer was not allowed to meet with Duy either, even though the appeal court has allowed him to be Duy’s defense attorney. The police of Khanh Hoa province blatantly disrespects the court’s order and the law.
At 7:30 AM on December 26, 2016, the appeal trial of the innocent prisoner Nguyen Huu Quoc Duy will take place in the Appeals Court of Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa province. His family may be once again forbidden to attend the trial and the words of the two lawyers once again may be blatantly rejected right at the beginning of the trial.
If blogger Quynh were still free, I believe that she would continue to stand with Duy and his family in the up-coming trial. I hope the public will not forget the injustice that Duy and his family are going through.
Original article: Facebook Trịnh Kim Tiến
English translation: © The 88 Project
More on Nguyen Quoc Huu Duy’s case:
RFA’s interview with Nguyen Huu Quoc Duy’s mother: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/vietnam/vietnam-mother-08242016164937.html
Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa41/4725/2016/en/
Vietnam Right Now: http://vietnamrightnow.com/2016/08/activists-sentenced-for-propaganda/