The speech of BFD on Human Rights Day

There were the political officers from US, Australian, German, Swedish Embassy attended this meeting

There were the political officers from US, Australian, German, Swedish Embassy attended this meeting

Greetings to our respected guests, colleagues and fellow activists,

First of all, please let me on behalf of the Democracy Brotherhood (AEDC) thank you for being here with us, you who represent the international diplomatic corps in Hanoi, my colleagues from other associations like No U FC, Hoang Sa FC, Vietnam Blogger Network and my fellow activists in the Democracy Brotherhood (AEDC).
Today, we are gathered here to celebrate the International Human Rights Day.
December 10 every year and in every country the International Human Rights Day celebrates the United Nation’s Human Rights Charter Declaration.
On this day in 1948, Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady of the United States represented the United Nations to read out the historical declaration of the Human Rights Charter in Paris, France.
Then on December 4, 1950 on the 317th general assembly, the United Nations officially adopted December 10 as the yearly Human Rights Day.
The basic rights of human beings are to be valued and respected all over the world, as it has been stipulated in the Declaration of Human Rights Charter, as agreed in all International Conventions on the definition of Human Rights, and signed by all U.N. member states who are bound to uphold them, Vietnam included when it joined the U.N. on September 12, 1982.
This is also an occasion for us to commemorate those who have sacrificed themselves to protect Human Rights, those who have been or still are victims of Human Rights violation, and those imprisoned for fighting for Human Rights, and we also think of their loved ones.
While in practically every country in the world, the people are enjoying the most basic rights of human beings, in Vietnam, only counting since 2006 to present day, there has been nearly 200 people incarcerated, tried and sentenced from 2 to life imprisonment for having exercised their most basic rights like the freedom of expression, the freedom of the press, the freedom of assembly, the freedom of political non-violent activities… On top of this, there have been many cases of the ethnic Highland minorities like the E-De, Gia Rai, M’Nong, Ba Na and the H’Mong in the North West who have been imprisoned from 2 to 18 years for their fight to protect their freedom of religions and beliefs. There are scores of cases of religion or rights activists who are not imprisoned but are regularly victims of campaigns of harassment, smear and discriminations… There are also many people who were arrested and conducted to police precincts in good form, but several hours later they came out feet first, or with bruises and injuries all over for the luckier ones.
While we are here to celebrate this day of the International Human Rights Charter, some 100 of our friends are being imprisoned for exercising their rights and for fighting to protect human rights of others.
We are citizens of Vietnam, and we are citizens of the United Nations. It’s the United Nations’ responsibility to protect and to promote Human Rights, and it’s the government of each member state to uphold them as it is the human rights organisations as well as every citizen’s responsibility to respect and exercise them.
On January 1st, 2014, Vietnam officially takes up seat in the U.N.’s Human Rights Council for a 3 years term. This is an opportunity and a challenge for us to pull ourselves together in the fights to improve the Human Rights situation in Vietnam.
On this occasion of the International Human Rights Day, together we are appealing to the governments of countries, to the international organisations, and to all concerned by the Human Rights conditions in Vietnam. Please voice your demand to the Vietnamese government to release immediately and unconditionally all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. Please exhort the Vietnamese government to respect and uphold the Human Rights Convention to which they have agreed in respect of the international community and the Vietnamese people.
Now, please let me invite you all to stand up and during one minute of silence, please let us think of all the victims of Human Rights violations, and let us pray for those who are imprisoned for their fight for or for their exercise of the basic rights of a human being.

Thank you very much to our guests today. I wish you all good health and may God bless us all.

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My meeting with JEAN PHILIPPE GAVOIS – from the French Embassy in Vietnam

Civil Rights Lawyer Nguyen Van Dai

Civil Rights Lawyer Nguyen Van Dai

At 10am on November 28, 2013, I had an appointment with Jean Philippe Gavois, the First Political Attaché of the French Embassy in Vietnam, at the Café Gecko in Bach Khoa. On the way to the café, I noticed quite a substantial group of security police dispatched from precincts, districts, city and ministry, about 20 agents in all. They were posted along the itinerary from my home to the Café Gecko; they were using mobiles, cameras, and remote listening devices for surveillance. At 10 o’clock sharp, Mr Gavois’ car pulled in at the rendezvous, I approached him and told him that we were being watched by the security police encircling us, and asked him if he saw any Continue reading

A CALL TO SUPPORT THE ASSEMBLY OF “VIETNAMESE WOMEN FOR HUMAN RIGHTS”

Dear Sisters,

We are born as human beings. That alone asserts itself as an ​​inherent value and equality when we compare ourselves with other fellow human beings. Each individual in society are distinguished based on her role, responsibilities and not based on material worth. Therefore, as true beings we have inviolable rights that are universal. And as long as we are affirmed as humans, we cannot accept inequality in our self worth, human rights and social roles.7

Today, though mankind has achieved undeniable progress, in many parts of the world in general and in many areas of Asia in particular, women are still the objects of unequal treatment in shameful collusion between cultural institutions and the laws. As you know, the old culture and the inequilibrium in mental state have assigned default values, which discriminate against women. To date, women remain in vulnerable position, despite rhetorical claims of the government about gender equality.

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Declaration on The Founding of Vietnamese Women for Human Rights

Until the 21st century – the era of knowledge and liberty and democracy, Vietnam remains a country with a thick dossier on human rights abuses.

VNWHR with US Embassy’s diplomats in Hanoi, Nov 18, 2013

VNWHR with US Embassy’s diplomats in Hanoi, Nov 18, 2013

Human rights are considered an important milestone to measure the level of civilization and is a prerequisite to create spiritual well being and humanist values for humans. The world today has been promoting human rights in all areas of social activities. Yet presently the people of Vietnam have not yet had the opportunity to enjoy the beneficiary ‘s rights in its beautiful humanist sense of the word. Evidently many human rights defenders in Vietnam continue to be suppressed in various forms, especially the women.

In this context, we humbly believe the formation and development of civil society and institutions to protect human rights is essential and urgent. These organizations are not only important for the benefit of each individual person, but also practical for the building of

Duong Thi Tan, Huynh Thuc Vy with David Skowronski (Australia Embassy)

Duong Thi Tan, Huynh Thuc Vy with David Skowronski (Australia Embassy)

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ABOUT THE BROTHERHOOD FOR DEMOCRACY

LOGOThe Brotherhood for Democracy (Hoi Anh Em Dan Chu) is an independent organization dedicated to protecting and defending human rights as enshrined in the Vietnamese constitution and recognized by international covenants. The Brotherhood for Democracy (BFD) advocates for a just, democratic, and progressive Vietnam.

While Vietnamese law provides for the freedom of assembly, in practice, the government severely cracks down on peaceful assembly. It is in this environment that the Brotherhood for Democracy was founded online by a group of rights advocates from Vietnam and around the world. BFD is not restricted by the borders of Vietnam and therefore not subjected to restrictive Vietnamese regulations.

Currently, the BFD has nearly 80 members from diverse backgrounds domestically and abroad. BFD strives to strengthen capacity by enabling members to share experiences and knowledge on human rights advocacy, civil society activities, and mobilizing for peaceful political action. Our aim is to improve understanding and strengthen solidarity across boundaries. While we discuss and share online, in the coming months, BFD plans to increase its number of members for offline action.

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PRISON PROTEST IN XUAN LOC NEED YOUR ATTENTION

VIETNAM HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE

TO: THE INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS IN HANOI

URGENT: PRISON PROTEST IN XUAN LOC NEED YOUR ATTENTION

On Sunday morning, around 8:30 am, 10 political prisoners along with about 1000 common prisoners staged a protest against the oppressive and inhuman conditions in K1, Xuan Loc prison, Dong Nai province. Protesters held colonel Ho Phi Thang, the manager of Xuan Loc prison.

At around midday, these prisoners were able to make contact with the outside world and record their messages. Their phone line was then immediately cut off. Since then, we have not been able to gather information or make contact.

Monday morning, Thanh Nien reported that the Ministry of Public Security has mobilized security forces from Thu Duc prison and Huy Khien prison; riot police of Dong Nai province; fire marshals and security police from Xuan Loc. It appears that order was restored by yesterday evening.

Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, musician Viet Khang, Pastor Phan Ngoc Tuan, Tran Hoang Giang, Nguyen Ngoc Cuong, Huynh Minh Tri are among the many religious and political prisoners imprisoned at Xuan Loc prison.

We are currently arranging for their family to visit them at Xuan Loc. But we understand that they have been kept in inhuman conditions and mistreated on a daily basis.

The reasons why this group of political prisoners have stood up against these prison officals include:

1/ Food and water have been consistently withheld;

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THE VIETNAMESE STYLE OF MEDIA CONTROL (PART 2)

ĐOAN TRANG

A police state: Police standing outside the trial of legal activist Cu Huy Ha Vu, April 2011.  (source unknown)

A police state: Police standing outside the trial of legal activist Cu Huy Ha Vu, April 2011.
(source unknown)

As written in the first part, “more than anyone else, the Communist Party – herein represented by the propagandists and public security machinery – is aware of the power of secrecy. Transparency only means self-defamation and suicide.” Therefore it is crucial to ensure secrecy in a variety of areas, ranging from work secret to national security. This can be done via the implementation of a basic principle, that is “to do good in propaganda of the communist ideology” and to keep the press under tight surveillance.

With the advent of the Internet and especially social media networks, however, the task becomes more difficult. Given such context, the propaganda and public security machinery must deal with controlling official media and, at the same time, suppressing the unofficial one, ie. the Internet media.

Press cards

A subtle measure taken by the Party to control the media in the name of “media management” is to maintain the so-called “press card” (not press badges which are issued to journalists covering a specific event). A Vietnamese press card is granted by the Ministry of Information and Communication to a reporter only when he/she meets a set of requirements imposed by a circular titled 07/2007/TT-BVHTT, including “not to be rebuked in the previous 12 months” and “to be recommended by the media agency, the line ministry, the Department of Culture and Information and the Association of the Press.” All the requirements are hard to meet, especially for reporters who tend to criticize the Party.

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THE VIETNAMESE STYLE OF MEDIA CONTROL (PART 1)

"Coffee and tea reserved for NA deputies and secretaries. No service to the press and guards." Ảnh: Lê Anh Dũng (VietNamNet)

“Coffee and tea reserved for NA deputies and secretaries. No service to the press and guards.”
Ảnh: Lê Anh Dũng (VietNamNet)

A report on media activities in 2012, which Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Do Quy Doan delivered at the national conference on the tasks for the press during 2013, clearly stated, “As of March 2013, there are 812 printed media agencies nationwide with 1084 publications. Of these, there are 197 newspapers, including 84 newspapers at national and industrial level, and 113 provincial ones. In the area of electronic media, there are 336 social media networks and 1174 diversed news sites. The whole country has 67 broadcast agencies at national and provincial (local) level; three of these are central (national) agencies, including the Voice of Vietnam, the Vietnam Television, and the Vietnam Digital Television (VTC). The other 64 agencies are local broadcasters providing 172 channels (with 99 television channels and 73 radio ones). In terms of human resources, there are nearly 17,000 professional journalists granted press cards; and the Vietnam Journalists Association has 17,000 members in its network.

The language sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Indeed it remains almost the same through years, with only a slight change in statistical figures.  The press system in 2012, for example, is described as follows:

Mass media in general and the press in particular in present Vietnam has never attained such a growth in terms of the Continue reading

THE DIRTY GAME OF THE VIETNAMESE SECURITY AGENCY

Lawyer Nguyen Van Dai

Recently, the Vietnamese Security Agency has failed when they tried to recruit the people in the democracy movement. They recruited some people, but these people were quickly discovered. One case was discovered in Vinh city on May 26, 2013. This young man was recruited by Hanoi Security Agency several months ago. The second case was discovered last week. This man was a member of Brotherhood For Democracy (BFD).

After these failures, the Security Agency continues to find the way to spy on the democracy movement and pro-democracy advocates.

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IS AGAINST THE COMMUNIST PARTY A RIGHT OR A CRIME?

Lawyer Nguyen Van Dai

The government made things more difficult for the rally of human rights

The government made things more difficult for the rally of human rights

All national constitutions recognize the political rights of the citizens.  And every citizen has the right to use his/her human rights to oppose the ruling party and government as long as they do it peacefully and in non-violent ways whenever they are unhappy with the leadership of the ruling party and government.  Or when they see their rights and interests as well as the national interests being violated by the authorities.

            Why is it so?

            When citizens use their political rights like the freedom of opinion, the freedom of the press, the freedom of association and organization, or the freedom to demonstrate in favor of the ruling party and government, then no ruling party or government would ever seek to punish them.  Thus there is no need to stipulate political human rights in the Constitution and in the laws to protect citizens who are in favor of the government and the ruling party.  And the United Nations also sees no need to spell out these rights in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights so as to force its member countries to respect and protect.

            But in every country there are always groups of citizens who sometimes are in the minority but at other times are even the Continue reading