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Tag Archives: Bui Thi Minh Hang

 

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One of Bui Thi Minh Hang’s sons – Tran Bui Trung – campaigning for his mother’s release (Source: Internet)

15-9-2015

My beloved Nhan*!

I have written to you several times but I don’t know whether the letters have reached you. I did not receive any reply at all. I long to hear from you and our family very much. Please remember to reply to me.

Each month you came to visit yet I could not see you. I love you and hope you understand me, my youngest son.

Please send my greetings to Grandma, the Uncles and Aunts, the Priests, and to all of our acquaintances.

I am hoping you will send me a few family photos: your pictures, your brother Trung’s pictures, and pictures of Sister Q. Anh’s family and children. Call Aunt Hanh, Uncle Dung, as well as the whole family, and tell them to write to share the news, please.

And how about yourself, my youngest Son! Are the monthly visits [to prison] affecting your work and study? Read More

Bui Thi Minh Hang is one of the twenty women prisoners highlighted in the FreeThe20 Women Political Prisoners and Prisoners of Concern campaign which was launched by the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power in September 2015.

In the Ambassador’s words: “In naming these women, we are also seeking to send a message to the 20 prisoners and their families, and to others like them: We have not forgotten about you. We will keep pressing for your governments to free you. We will continue to remind people of what is lost when you are excluded not only from the conversations like the one coming up in New York, but from your communities and your societies. We will insist on reminding the world how much we lose when your voices are silenced – today and every day that you are behind bars.”

Please check out the video in which Ambassador Power personally told Bui Thi Minh Hang’s story and called for her release:

Source: Ambassador Samantha Power’s Facebook page

Dear Official:

September 2nd is National Day, the day of Vietnam’s independence, and the day during which, at least in recent years, Vietnam has granted amnesty to select prisoners. I was pleased to learn last week that Vietnam will release upwards of 18,000 prisoners this year. However, I was greatly displeased to learn that not a single one of those 18,000 is expected to be a political prisoner.

I wonder, if you met, face-to-face today, one of the countless media, labor, land, democracy, religious, or other activists that the current Vietnamese system has imprisoned, would you know it? I have a theory that, when put in the same, bustling room, one would have no easier a time discerning between an activist and a non-activist than discerning between strangers on a crowded street. Activists, in all their forms, wear no uniform, bear no special marking on the outside that singles them out. Their distinguishing feature is their beliefs– and their actions. They have been made to stand out in society because the Vietnam system criminalizes freedom of expression.

The manufactured labels of prisoner or judge, good or evil, are what truly single out Vietnamese activists.  Read More

Photo of Bui Thi Minh Hang from 2011, from Radio Free Asia and AFP

Photo of Bui Thi Minh Hang from 2011, from Radio Free Asia and AFP

Occupation: Blogger and activist

Arrest Date: February 11, 2014

Trial Date: August 26, 2014

Sentence: Three years

Bui Thi Minh Hang, mother, popular blogger, and champion of land and religious rights, is currently serving a three-year prison sentence in Vietnam. For years, Hang has been involved in activism regarding freedom of religion, land rights, and Vietnam’s territorial disputes with China. In February of 2014, while visiting a former prisoner of conscience, Hang and her group were stopped by police. She and two others were arrested for a traffic violation under Article 245 of Vietnam’s Penal Code for “causing public disorder.” This charge was a guise used to find a reason to arrest the dissidents.

Hang and her co-defendants, Nguyen Van Minh and Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh, subsequently went on trial in August of last year. Minh and Quynh received two and two and one half years in prison, respectively. Hang received three years. The three appealed their sentences, but the appeal was ultimately denied on December 12, 2014.

Hang was previously arrested in 2011 for participating in a protest regarding Vietnam-China disputes. She was sentenced to a re-education center for two years but was released in April 2012 with the help of international supporters. Following this experience, Hang wrote a memoir, speaking out about conditions in prison. In the spring of 2015, Hang went on hunger strike to protest her mistreatment in prison, which was egged on by the prison staff. Hang has also participated in other hunger strikes in the past.

Support Bui Thi Minh Hang and call for her release: share this profile, and contact key players below.

1) Tweet at the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

Suggested message: @State_DRL #BuiThiMinhHang, #TranHuynhDuyThuc, #TaPhongTan & others unfairly imprisoned. Call on #Vietnam to release them.

2) Contact the United States Embassy in Vietnam and ask them to press for the release of prisoners of conscience:

+84-4-3850-5000, 7 Lang Ha Street, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Suggested message: “I am concerned about the imprisonment of peaceful political activists in Vietnam, including Bui Thi Minh Hang, Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, Ta Phong Tan, and others. Their imprisonment goes against international human rights agreements such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as Vietnam’s obligations as a member of the UN Human Rights Council. I urge you to press for the release of prisoners of conscience in Vietnam.”

3) Contact the President of Vietnam and let him know that you oppose the cruel treatment of prisoners and the detention of peaceful activists:

President Truong Tan Sang, Office of the President, President’s Residence, Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam

As April gives way to May, we celebrated World Press Freedom Day (May 3rd) and prepare to celebrate Vietnam Human Rights Day (May 11th). We also remember the one-year anniversary of the death of Dinh Dang Dinh, an environmental activist and blogger who died of stomach cancer on April 3, 2014, only a month after his release from prison.

In April, discussion continued over the role of human rights in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other trade agreements. This is especially needed as the TPP may move onto a fast track for approval in the US. In regards to the EU’s potential trade agreement with Vietnam, the EU Commission has refused to conduct a human rights assessment, going against the advice of the EU Ombudsperson.

While international protest against the TPP continues, there have been a number of recent instances of public protest in Vietnam over the past month in regards to other topics as well. There was a strike over a new pension law, a citizen protest over the felling of trees in Hanoi, and a protest over pollution as well. These events highlight the power of citizens to speak out for change. The Vietnamese government allows some forms of assembly and protest and not others and recently violated freedom of assembly by forcibly arresting environmental activists on 4/25 in Hanoi.There were also many news stories this month about other issues in Vietnam, including minority rights, wildlife trafficking, and forced labor.

Take a look at the several reports out this month on Vietnam, including “We Will Not Be Silenced,” a report on bloggers and human rights in Vietnam by CR Defenders. Additionally, Press Freedom has placed Vietnam as 6/10 on its list of worst violators of press freedom. Other interesting reports to take a look at are the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Attacks on the Press report and the United States’ Committee on International Religious Freedom’s Report 2015, which deems Vietnam as a country of particular concern.

Finally, it is important to note that April 30th marked the 40th anniversary of Black April, when the Vietnam War ended and reunification began. In honor of this day, Rep Zoe Lofgren and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi created a video that speaks of their recent visit to Vietnam and the importance of human rights there. Additionally, a bipartisan group of representatives introduced a bill that would make certain assistance to Vietnam contingent on respect for human rights.

Updates on Political Prisoners

Me Nam received Civil Rights Defender’s Defender of the year award. Read an interview with her from Radio Free Asia.

Mai Thi Dung has been released after serving 6 and 5 year sentences for her work towards freedom of religion in Vietnam.

Bui Thi Minh Hang has been on hunger strike since April 2nd, protesting her treatment in prison, where other inmates have been encouraged to harass her.

May 24th will mark the sixth year since Tran Huynh Duy Thuc was imprisoned.

Take Action

Support the Press Uncuffed campaign: spread the word, and buy a bracelet to show your solidarity with the imprisoned journalists.

Look at our Take Action page.