JOINT STATEMENT ON HARASSMENT AND THREAT TO LUONG TAM TV

lương tâm tv

Vietnam | Oct 01, 2015

Luong Tam TV (Conscience TV) is the program, with short video clips on Youtube, established by the Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience (FVPoC) and cooperated with the Brother for Democracy Association (BFDA). This program targets to express the truth about the Vietnam situation, comments about the problems of the country, in order to mobilize the consciousness, enlightening conscience for Fellow citizens, forwarding a society with justice and freedom and democracy.

But, after just three video clips (starting from Aug 19, 2015), the Communist authorities cracked down it.  On Sep 23, 2015, the Hanoi police arrested all the five member team of Luong Tam TV, including journalist Nguyen Vu Binh, anchor Le Yen , cameraman Pham Dac Dat, video technique Nguyen Manh Cuong, and translator Le Thu Ha. Then confiscated all their own and Luong Tam TV’s equipment, including 1 camcorders, 1 camera Sony Anpha 58, 1 lightening kit for studio with 4 tripods and 4 lights, 3 laptops, 1 tablet, 4 phones, 3 USB, USD $100, furniture and other devices for the studio.

Given the serious situation,

            1- The FVPoC and BFDA affirm that:

a – The Luong Tam TV program completely is consistent with the Article19 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights:

1 – Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference. 

2 – Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”

b – The Luong Tam TV program completely is consistent with the Vietnam law. According to the Constitution, this activity is the basic human rights, including freedom of expression, freedom of press that people can enjoy. According to the rules and regulations of the press law, television or radio stations that have headquarters, broadcast into air, through satellites or Internet must get the government permission. Luong Tam TV that is just the short video clip from 7-12 minute long on YouTube network of the United States – thus should not have to ask permission and cannot be banned.

c – In addition, in June 2014, at the 26th meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, the Hanoi authorities have declared commitment to support 182/227 recommendations. Among the recommendations was approved, there is a lot more directly related to freedom of speech as: Implementing more measures to promote free expression and free media consistent with the most progressed international standards; ongoing measures to allow access to the Internet without limit to all its citizens, at the same time ensuring freedom of expression and speech of each person, as well as free press and the media (Estonia); Setting aside space for non-state media and making the article 79, 88 and 258 of Penal code more specific and consistent with the international obligations on freedom of expression (Australia).

            2- FVPoC and BFDA condemn.

a – The authorities blatantly violated the international covenants, national law and contemn the Human rights Council.

a – The Hanoi authorities and the police applied illegal, abject measures, such as stop activists on the road, causing traffic accident, mobilizing a crowds to arrest, etc.) to arrest, then confiscated media equipment (computers, cameras, phones, money).

When tens of friends and supporters coming to the police station to protest peacefully, the authorities mobilized hundreds of public security forces, para-militia to attack and insult them.

.            3- FVPoC and BFDA declare that:

a – Keeping going on the operation of Luong Tam TV program in collaboration with many other civil society organizations, because it is rights and obligations of citizens to live with our conscience and spreading the democracy and human rights.

b – Asking the authorities immediately end their harassment, threat to those who have been undertaken Luong Tam TV program, at the same time returning all the equipment confiscated to Luong Tam TV staff.

c – Urging the Communist party – amid the country’s fall into all sorts of crisis from political to economic conditions – that it is time to listen to the voices of its people, in terms of goodwill of the movement of democracy, recognizing the contributions of civil society organizations, instead of banning arbitrarily, suppressing brutally, arresting crazily.

            Vietnam, Oct 01, 2015

 

Two civil society organizations promoted:

  1. Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience: Dr. Nguyen Dan Que, Father Phan Van Loi
  2. Brotherhood for Democracy Association: Mr. Pham Van Troi, Lawyer. Nguyen Van Dai

            Civil society organizations signed to support:

  1. Independent Journalist Association of Vietnam:  Phạm Chí Dũng (Ph.D.)
  2. Bach Dang Giang Foundation: Phạm Bá Hải (MBE)
  3. Evangelical Lutheran Community Church Vietnam-America: Pastor Nguyen Hoang Hoa.
  4. Bầu Bí Association: Mr. Nguyễn Lê Hùng
  5. Delegation of Vietnamese United Buddhists Church: Ven. Thich Khong Tanh
  6. Evangelical Protestant Chuong Bo Church: Pastor Nguyen Manh Hung
  7. Association to Protect Freedom of Religion: Ms. Ha Thi Van.
  8. Hoa Hao Buddhist Church, Purity: Mr. Le Quang Hien.
  9. Vietnamese Women for Human Rights: Ms.Huynh Thuc Vy, Ms.Tran Thuy Nga
  10. Vietnam Path Movement: Mr. Hoàng Văn Dũng
  11. Defend The Defenders: Mr. Vu Quoc Ngu.
  12. Saigon Time: Father Lê Ngọc Thanh
  13. Religion and Minority Defenders: Mr. Huynh Trong Hieu
  14. Viet Labor: Ms. Do Thi Minh Hanh
  15. Bloc 8406: Mr. Do Nam Hai
  16. Nguyen Kim Dien Group: Father Nguyen Huu Giai
  17. Friendship Association of Political and Religious Prisoners: Mr. Nguyen Bac Truyen
  18. Non-violent Movement: Dr. Nguyen Dan Que

Individuals support:

  1. Mr. Nguyen Tuong Thuy
  2. Mr. Hoang Hung
  3. Mr. Nguyen Van Tuc
  4. Ms. Pham Thanh Nghien