Father Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly is a Roman Catholic priest and prominent Vietnamese dissident involved in many pro-democracy movements. Father Ly has already spent around 15 years in prison for peacefully criticizing government policies on religion and advocating for greater respect for human rights since the late 1970’s. For his ongoing imprisonment and continuous non-violent protest, Amnesty International has adopted Nguyen Van Ly in December, 1983 as a Prisoner of conscience. In November, 2000, Nguyen Van Ly gained global and official attention, when members of the Committee for Religious Freedom visited Nguyen Van Ly in his village, during US president Clinton's visit to Vietnam but he was sentenced again in October 2001 to 15 years in prison for activities linked to the defence of free speech. The sentence was later reduced several times and he was finally released in February 2004. Most recently, his support for the Bloc 8406 manifesto has led to his sentence on March 30, 2007 for an additional eight years in prison. Read full biography

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Bernie Ripoll Australia MP - Letter to request the review of Father Nguyen Van Ly’s eight year sentence

Mr Nguyen Tan Dung
Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Office of the Prime Minister
Hoang Hoa Tham, Hanoi
Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Dear Prime Minister

I am writing this letter to request the review of Father Nguyen Van Ly’s eight year sentence and the release of Attorneys Nguyen Van Dai , Le Thi Cong Nhan, the journalist Nguyen Vu Binh, and other pro democracy activists.

As a member state of the United Nations, Vietnam is bound by the United Nations Charter and with that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

While I applaud Vietnam’s great courage in embracing economic change as evidenced by its membership into the World Trade Organisation, I hope that Vietnam can also show greatness in changing her judicial frameworks that would allow differences of opinion to be treated more generously.

I would again like to urge the Prime Minister to intervene in the case of the above mentioned individuals to secure their immediate release.

Yours sincerely,

Bernie Ripoll MP
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Innovation
Federal Member for Oxley

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