Vietnamese government detains four members of Viet Tan
In recent weeks the Vietnamese authorities have quietly arrested a number of activists, among them individuals accused of “attempting to overthrow the socialist government” based on their involvement with Viet Tan. To forestall the terror campaign against these individuals and their families, we are bringing to public attention the detention of four Viet Tan members:
Pham Minh Hoang is a scholar and patriot concerned for the future of the country’s youths. In addition to technical knowledge, he taught students leadership skills and civic responsibility. He actively participated in the campaign to assert Vietnamese sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly islands; protested the government’s decision to allow a state-owned Chinese company to mine bauxite in the Central Highlands; and blogged on issues of national concern under the penname Phan Kien Quoc.
Pastor Duong Kim Khai has sought to apply religious teachings in everyday life, serving others despite personal hardships. In addition to caring for his congregation, during the last ten years he actively helped dispossessed farmers of all faiths in Ben Tre and Dong Thap provinces petition for redress of grievances.
Nguyen Thanh Tam and Tran Thi Thuy have persistently campaigned for social justice on behalf of farmers in Ben Tre and Dong Thap provinces who have lost their lands over the last 20 years.
In response to these arrests, Viet Tan affirms that:
On behalf of all Vietnamese imprisoned for their political views, including our members above, Viet Tan challenges the regime to demonstrate why training youths, defending the country’s environment and territorial sovereignty, exercising freedom of religion and campaigning for social justice are considered “aiming to overthrow the socialist government.”
We challenge the Hanoi regime to allow citizens to air their grievances at a public forum and not be repressed; let people concerned with the China threat to speak out on Vietnamese sovereignty and not be arrested; and permit all who disagree with the Communist Party to engage in peaceful political activities without being terrorized by the security apparatus of the state.
Viet Tan is committed to a nonviolent struggle to end social injustices, promote social empowerment and mobilize the Vietnamese people to contribute to the nation’s development in democracy, justice and equality.
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