Vietnam, February 5, 2012
To: The European Union
The European Parliament
The European External Action Service
The Delegation of the EU to Vietnam
C/c: International Human Rights Defenders
Re: Tangible Improvements of Human Rights in Vietnam.
By this letter, I expect further attention and more auspicious assistance from you that may lead to tangible improvements of human rights in Vietnam. I am more concerned about the effect of those sacred rights because not only their violation has been occasioning many negative impacts on me and my family, but also because upholding genuinely these inviolable rights is the only way our country will take to escape from the severe economic crisis that is currently causing more and more people to lead a wretched life. This is precisely the economic and social status quo that my son had early ascertained and repeatedly warned of since 2006. He has been, since then, sparing no effort to draw consideration and recognition from Vietnamese people, State, Government and the ruling party of the risks and the threats and perils that the then macro policies would be destined to.
He also analyzed these problems’ genesis in which the lack of freedom and democracy takes crucial part. That’s why he appealed the authorities to genuinely respect human rights for the Vietnamese people in order to avoid the crisis and gain sustainable growth. Unfortunately, it was the rationale behind the law case that conducted to a verdict of “overthrowing the people’s authority”, sentencing to 31 years and half in prison and 14 years probation for him and his friends, Nguyen Tien Trung, Le Cong Dinh and Le Thang Long. Colonel Tran Anh Kim was also sentenced to 5 years and half in prison and 3 years probation in another related case. These cases have drawn scathing condemnation from the international community, including the European Union.
My son is Tran Huynh Duy Thuc , an entrepreneur, IT engineer, economist, a well-known blogger (Tran Dong Chan) and moreover, an activist who has bravely and tirelessly striven for human rights and the peacefully sustainable growth for Vietnam and for the peace of the world. He and his above-mentioned friends joined to impart the rule of law, which to the people means that their human rights are inherent and respected by the international law and by the Constitution of Vietnam, and which to the authority means that its obligations are to have to ultimately protect these indivisible rights for the people to freely enjoy them. Thus they petition our people to discern their rights and have recourse to them without having to wait for either endowment or approval, and request the Authority to ensure the protection of such rights for every citizen de facto, not just nominally.
Real disaster! these activists were put in jail while the crisis has been raging, jeopardizing a lot of people, causing them to fall into a critical situation.
As I know, the promotion of and the respect for human rights and the rule of law is the focused topic in the recent European Union and Vietnam first round capital-based Human Rights Dialogue that was held in Hanoi on Jan 12, 2012. This is because the EU reaffirmed that it was of crucial importance for Vietnam own development itself and a key aspect of bilateral relations. I very much appreciate this approach of the EU because it will surely take Vietnam to a well being that Thuc and his friends wish for our country. So do almost all Vietnamese people. Therefore, Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, Le Cong Dinh, Le Thang Long and Nguyen Tien Trung have received enthusiastic support from the mass for The Path they have chosen – The Path of Vietnam as the title of a book they wrote together.
However, the Authority received them with meals in prison while the EU dialogue delegation was met with a warm and solemn reception. This is not only an irony, but also a discriminationary treatment and inequality. It’s the actual situation of human rights performance in Vietnam that needs to be rapidly improved .
Because we have no way to make our people’s Authority to listen to our concern, regrettably we have to do it through you. I hope you can make Vietnam Authority to discern that when they genuinely uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms for our people and society ,the country’s economy will soon overcome the crisis, and that the “Respect for human rights and democratic principles is the basis for the cooperation between the Parties and for the provisions of this Agreement, and it constitutes an essential element of the Agreement” as stipulated in the first Article of the 1995 Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Those are not Western-imposed principles. But it is truly the objective principle of nature that any country must obey to be democratic and prosperous unshakably. It is the recent development of Vietnam that provided the evidence for this principle – thanks to its substantial improvement in human rights during the decade from 1994, the economic and social development in Viet Nam was stable and impressive in that period. But these facets have been deteriorating together with the respect for human rights in Vietnam since 2005 till now.
Tangible improvement of human rights thereupon is the sine qua non for our country. I know many Vietnamese who appreciate that respect for human rights, the rule of law and democratic principles is still the basis for and constitutes an essential element of the new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the EU and Vietnam. So we petition and do expect that you will enforce it effectively so as to swiftly realize the rule of law and the Vietnamese people’ human rights, the clearest substantiation of which is the release of Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, Nguyen Tien Trung, Le Cong Dinh, Le Thang Long, Tran Anh Kim and all political prisoners including, inter alia, Cu Huy Ha Vu, Nguyen Van Hai (Dieu Cay), Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung, Do Thi Minh Hanh, Doan Huy Chuong, Bui Thi Minh Hang, etc… , who all poised to exercise those rights that are enshrined in the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam as well as solemnly protected by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Charter of the European Union and many other international laws.
More than so, our Authority should let those men and women give hands to build the country. I hold that only then, through such a meritocracy can our Vietnam quickly surpass the exacerbation of economic crisis in order to reverse the hardship of millions of people, averting a topsy-turvy time which seems unavoidable. A lot of Vietnamese believe the same and so do you, I think.
I hope that you and the European Parliament take our petition into consideration and have appropriate actions. Thank you very much.
For myself and my son
Tran van Huynh
P/S: for more information about Tran Huynh Duy Thuc and his writings, please visit: tranfami.wordpress.com.
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