Joint statement of Vietnam CSOs on the coming trial of Bui Minh Hang, Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh and Nguyen Van Minh

Three accused Bui Minh Hang, Nguyen Van Minh and Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh must be released immediately and unconditionally because they are completely innocent. It is policemen, who ambushed, beat people, caused the roadside people gathered crowded, is a “disturbing public order” maker.

FVPOC | Cập nhật 21/08/2014

Translation by Trang Thien Long



Pursuant to Document No. 69/2014 / HSST-QD, signed by the judge Bui Phuoc Loc on July 28, 2014, about “bringing into court under the charge of “disturbing public order ” Paragraph 2, Article 245 of the Penal Code, the trial of Bui Minh Hang, Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh and Nguyen Van Minh is scheduled to open on Aug 26, 2014 at 7:30 AM in the People’s court of Dong Thap province. All 3 people have been detained since Feb 11, 2014 in Lap Vo District police station (Dong Thap province), then they were transferred to Dong Thap provincial detention center (An Binh commune, Cao Lanh city).

I/. We, the civil society organizations have the same view that:

1. The incident took place on a communal rural road of the bridge Nong Trai, My An Hung Commune, Lap Vo district, Dong Thap province on Feb 11, 2014 when 21 friends of Nguyen Bac Truyen and his wife were on the way to visit them. Truyen and his wife had been attacked some days earlier. All 21 people were suddenly stopped, been asked ID papers, provoked and then attacked by hundred policemen in uniform and plainclothes and thugs. The attackers used sticks, clubs to hit them badly regardless woman or man while many others videoed.

After many people were beaten, injury and unconscious, these police officers (including Captain Huynh Van Thuan, deputy head of the security team, and Lieutenant Colonel Le Hoang Dung, deputy chief of the investigative office of Lap Vo district, who was heavy-handed with Minh Hang and later it was him to sign an order of prosecution) then put on their police shirts and seized all communication gadgets and banners of 21 people. They were detained for 12 hours without food in the dark, dirty room. 18 people got released later.

2. One of the three defendants, Bui Minh Hang is a prominent pro-democracy activist, who is always present in anti-china protests and the unfair trials of patriotic dissidents. She also threw herself into the struggle of land petitioners and disseminated the booklets of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She used to be detained for five months at Thanh Ha education camp. Ms.Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh joined anti-China protests in Saigon since 2010 and then engaged in human rights and democracy activities. Mr.Nguyen Van Minh is a fervent believer of the independent Hoa Hao Buddhists, he is a son-in-law and brother-in-law two prisoners of conscience Bui Van Trung and Bui Van Tham. When being arrested, all 3 took a hunger strike to protest. Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh refused to obey the investigators to accuse the ringleader Hang in return for getting release immediately. Bui Minh Hang had taken hunger strike four times, and her daughter first time was allowed to meet her in prison on Aug 18,2014.

3. On Feb 27, 2014 the TV program “For Homeland Security” of Dong Thap did report about the arrest of Nguyen Bac Truyen and 21 people said. Everything was carefully recorded from the moment the incident occurred. For the purpose of giving fake evidence to describe those people who were arrested due to violating the law and Dong Thap police complied with the rule of law!?! Video analysis reports, we see all of the allegations made against three people as “obstructing traffic,” “against person on duty”, and “disturbing public order “are unfounded. Although the video was staged and prepared in advance, the police could not provide any evidence for the allegations stated. On the contrary, it is evidence to accuse of bully behavior, slander to citizens, cunning manner of police in Dong Thap.

4. On Mar 10, 2014 to find false evidence to hide the acts of “gratuitous violence” and “unlawful detention,” Lap Vo district police have summoned five persons among 21, To Van Manh, Phan Duc Phuoc, Nguyen Vu Tam, Ms. Bui Thi Diem Thuy and Ms. Do Thi Thuy Trang. All 5 people then publicly denounced (through RFA on Mar 11) that investigators had primed them about what to say and forced to testify, arbitrarily writing down on the minutes what witnesses did not talk about, and not writing what they did. During the interrogation, police always focused on the role of “ringleader” Bui Minh Hang in order to easily to put her in the law trap. Apparently these investigators want to prove the words of Captain Huynh Van Thuan: “That group beat police first, attacked police first. Police could not fight back so people on the roadside jumped out to beat for police”!?!

5. Yet, Lap Vo district police also sent a communiqué to the attorney Tran Thu Nam (Viet Tin law office – Ha Noi) that Bui Minh Hang refused to hire him as a lawyer. After lawyer Nam submitted the indisputable evidence that Hang had signed the contract with his office (Hang’s children also wanted lawyer Nam to protect their mother’s rights and interests), Lap Vo district police had to allow lawyer Tran Thu Nam to be her third lawyer on Mar 12, 2014.

6. Furthermore, on the evening of Mar 22, 2014, after the Mass to pray for three defendants at the Redemptorist church of Thai Ha, Hanoi, Hang’s daughter Quynh Anh was abducted by police, some bloggers’ houses were besieged to examine. Blogger Truong Van Dung was intercepted and severely beaten to hospitalize. The next morning, Mar 13, a small rally demanding release of three victims in Hanoi was brutally suppressed. Ms. Tran Thi Nga had been sexually assaulted and brutally beaten at the police station of Quang Trung ward, Dong Da district, Hanoi.

On July 28, 2014, the UN rapporteur on freedom of religion, Heiner Bielefeldt, could not meet victims and witnesses, including Quang Minh pagoda of Vo Van Thanh Liem, worship place of Bui van Trung and Nguyen Bac Truyen’s house. Recently, An Giang province police have sent invitation letters to Hoa Hao Buddhists in order to ban them to participate the coming trial of the trio.

7. Finally, in the investigative conclusion issued by Colonel Le Van Be Sau – the head of the investigative department of Dong Thap province on July 2, 2014 there are slanders as said above, we can find the “incriminating evidence” against the three accused as cursing “police are robbers!”, “police block road to rob!”, “Down with Communists,” etc.; or with slogans on placards confiscated:” Down with police, thugs who illegally detained people,”” Ask correcting the thug-like police to set an example for the people”,” the people can not pay taxes to feed thug-like state ” etc. In comparing the incidents that happened and the status quo of the regime, those words are perfectly correct, never being a crime in the democratic, civilized countries.

The three defendants declined to sign the indictment and denied the accusation of the investigative conclusion. Five witnesses Vo Van Buu, Vo Van Bao, Bui Thi Diem Thuy, Phan Duc Phuoc and Do Thi Thuy Trang are ready to testify to denounce Lap Vo police ambushed and attacked the innocent people.

II/. From the observations above, we, the CSOs co-signed below declare:

1. Three accused Bui Minh Hang, Nguyen Van Minh and Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh must be released immediately and unconditionally because they are completely innocent. It is policemen, who ambushed, beat people, caused the roadside people gathered crowded, is  a “disturbing public order” maker.

2. The dynamic of the treacherous scheming rulers aims at criminalizing the courageous human rights activists. This proved that it is not an ordinary criminal case but created by political motives.

3. The unjustified beating and detention and then the illegal proceedings act not only as a serious human rights abuses, but also labeled the regime falsity. It is the actual human rights situation in Vietnam, not as deceitful allegations of any official of the ruling Communists when they answered the question and the public criticism worldwide.

4. Vietnam compatriots and democracy movement at home and abroad lay heads together and perseveringly struggle (with the help of democratic countries and international human rights bodies ) for the legal institutions in accordance with the standards of civilized humanity, a legislative system is no longer a tool in the hands of the ruling Communist dictatorship.

Vietnam, Aug 21, 2014

The CSOs co-signed:

1) Association to Protect Freedom of Religion: Catholic Priest Le Ngoc Thanh.

2) Bach Dang Giang Foundation: Pham Ba Hai (MBE).

3) Brotherhood for Democracy: Lawyer Nguyen Van Dai.

4) Cao Dai Church: Mr. Hua Phi, Mrs. Bach Phung

5) Civil Society Forum: Nguyen Quang A (Ph.D.)

6) Council of Religion Alliance: Catholic Priest Dinh Huu Thoai

7) Delegation of Vietnamese United Buddhists Church: Ven. Thich Khong Tanh.

8) Evangelical Protestant: Reverend Nguyen Hoang Hoa, Nguyen Manh Hung

9) Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience: Dr. Nguyen Dan Que, Catholic Priest Phan Van Loi.

10)Friendship Association of Political and Religious Prisoners: Nguyen Bac Truyen, LLB.

11) Gourd and Squash Mutual Association: Mr. Nguyen Le Hung

12) Hoa Hao Buddhists, Purity: Mr. Le Quang Liem.

13) Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam: Pham Chi Dung (Ph.D.)

14) Network of Vietnamese Bloggers: Ms. Nguyen Hoang Vi

15) Nguyen Kim Dien Group: Catholic Priest Nguyen Huu Giai

16) Non-violent Movement for Democracy: Dr. Nguyen Dan Que.

17) Oppressed Petitioners Solidarity Movement: Ms. Tran Ngoc Anh

18) Peasants Petitioners Association: Mr. Nguyen Xuan Ngu. 19) Viet Labors: Ms. Do Thi Minh Hanh

20) Vietnam Path: Mr. Hoang Van Dung

21) Vietnamese Women for Human Rights: Ms.Huynh Thuc Vy, Mrs. Tran Thi Hai