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

Monday, April 9, 2007

Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

April 9, 2007

The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Rice,

We write to convey our concern over reports of mistreatment of human rights advocates in Vietnam. This is a serious matter that we believe should be raised with the Vietnamese government.

Three recent cases are of particular concern. On February 18, 2007, Father Nguyen Van Ly was put under house arrest in a remote area of Vietnam after his parish house was raided. Father Ly was a leading proponent of human rights and religious freedom. A few weeks later on March 30th Father Ly was sentenced was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

On March 6, 2007, the Vietnamese authorities arrested attorney Le Thi Cong-Nhan and attorney Nguyen Van Dai, both of whom were advocates for human rights. They are being held for disseminating propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

We are confident that you are aware of these incidents, and that you share our views on the importance of promoting respects for human right in Vietnam and around the world. We would appreciate it if you could provide us with an update on steps you have taken to raise this issue with the government of Vietnam, and on the current United States policy with respect to human rights in Vietnam.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to your response.

1 comment:

BobbyDias said...

Poor people did not get the royal treatment of kings in Vietnam. Maybe they should have real hearts before they ask anything of anybody as they did in Vietnam.