Banned books and other forms of censorship

On the banning of books, censorship and other freedom of access issues

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Vietnam dissidents protest confiscation of property

The following open letter was smuggled out of Vietnam and translated by a friend of mine. The individuals below are well known pro-democracy advocates in Vietnam. This has not yet been published in English, or reported in any English language publication.

note: One US dollar equals 15,391 Vietnamese dong (VN$); or one Vietnamese dong equals .00006497 US dollars. SRVN is for Socialist Republic of Viet Nam; WTO for World Trade Organization.

- Steve Denney
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Unified Letter to Protest the Illegal Confiscation of Working Properties and Tools from Democracy Advocates in Viet Nam

We the citizens and residents of Viet Nam whose addresses are indicated below, unanimously sign this letter of condemnation to appeal to the local and worldwide public opinion which will also be brought to the attention of:

- United Nations Human Rights Committee
- All governments, nations, people representatives, legislative members of lower and upper houses of all nations that cherish freedom, democracy and respect human rights in 5 continents of the world.
- Human Rights Watch
- Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ)
- Reporters Without Borders / Reporters Sans Frontieres
- Amnesty International
- Local, International Press
- All friends and concerned conscientious individuals

As citizens of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, an official member nation that in September 1982 signed and pledged to completely, wholly and absolutely honor all United Nations Human Rights Agreements such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all of which required all member nations to comply with and respect the articles of these treaties, as well as allowing their citizens to enjoy those fundamental human rights as follows:

According to article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights :

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

And the current constitution of the SRVN, Article 69 states:

"The citizen shall enjoy freedom of opinion and speech, freedom of the press, the right to be informed, and the right to assemble, form associations and hold demonstrations in accordance with the provisions of the law."

Article 71:

"The citizen shall enjoy inviolability of the person and the protection of the law with regard to his life, health, honor and dignity. No one can be arrested in the absence of a ruling by the People's Court, a ruling or sanction of the People's Office of Supervision and Control except in case of flagrant offenses. Taking a person into, or holding him in, custody must be done with full observance of the law. It is strictly forbidden to use all forms of harassment and coercion, torture, violation of his honor and dignity, against a citizen."

Article 73:

"The citizen is entitled to the inviolability of his domicile. No one can enter the domicile of another person without his consent, except in cases authorized by the law. Safety and secrecy are guaranteed to the citizen correspondence, telephone conversations and telegrams.
Domiciliary searches and the opening, control, and confiscation of a citizen's correspondence and telegrams can only be done by a competent authority in accordance with the provisions of the law."

Against these principles, the Communist Party and the SRVN have instructed its security force-- an abusive, gigantic and diligent mechanism of the SRVN -- without any reason to carry out oppressive, terrorizing, suppressing and intimidating activities irrespective of
current codes of law. They have blatantly disregarded and boldly trampled upon the basic human rights that have been clearly indicated in the constitution as well as in those mentioned above international covenants.

They have blatantly confiscated properties that citizens rightfully possess. As implied by those red rhetorical banners hanging at every street corner, in every governmental agency, especially in security force offices touting slogans such as "Live, Work in compliance with Constitution, laws," "For the people: we serve," "Treat the people with RESPECT and POLITENESS" (excerpt from 1 of the 6 principles that Ho Chi Minh taught the People Security Force) the security force of the SRVN should have been a power to enforce the law, protect the
socialist government, set an example to wholly comply with the essence of those brilliant slogans. Instead, they have repeatedly treated the democracy advocates with atrocious, despicable treatments.

The people have compared those suppressive treatments with those from hooligans; such treatment totally contradicts the glamorous slogans of "The People Security Force" or "The People Safety."

Therefore, we the democracy advocates in Viet Nam anonymously and vigorously debunk and condemn the suppression, the terroristic maneuvers and illegal confiscation of properties as indicated above and hereby expose them to the local and international public conscience.

We also demand the A42 Unit -The general safety Unit of the SRVN Security Force - to immediately return without any condition the properties that it illegally confiscated from the following citizens:

1) Citizen Hoang Minh Chinh, residing at 26 Ly Thuong Kiet, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi. Properties that were illegally confiscated from him composed of:

One HP Compaq laptop valued at $US1,500. It was confiscated by the security officers from A42, P24, Ha Noi Security Office located at 87 Tran Hung Dao, Ha Noi after they conducted an unauthorized raid at the house of citizen Nguyen Khac Toan located at 11 Ngo Trang Tien,
Hoan Kiem Distinct, Ha Noi at the 16 hours on August 12, 2006

2) Citizen Hoang Tien, residing at room 420, apartment A11, Thanh Xuan Bac commune, Thanh Xuan district, Ha Noi.

Properties that were illegally confiscated from him composed of: 1 CPU valued at VN$5,000,000; 1 mobile phone valued at VN$1,500,000; more than 1,500 essays, literature articles written about freedom and democracy authored by him and other which were illegally removed and confiscated during a raid at his private residence on the 12th of August 2006.

3) Citizen Nguyen Thanh Giang, residing at Physical Geography and Airplane commune, Trung Hoa Nhan Chinh section, Tu Liem Village, a suburb of Hanoi.

Properties that were illegally confiscated from him composed of: A series of 33 books titled "Human Rights and Democracy in Viet Nam" and " Contemplation and Aspiration" which were illegally confiscated during a raid in the middle of July 2006.

4) Citizen Nguyen Khac Toan, residing at 11 Ngoc Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem district, Ha Noi.

Properties that were illegally confiscated from him composed of: 1 CPU and a monitor valued at VN$6,000,000; 2 mobile phones valued at VN$3,000,000; approximately 50 Kilograms of documentation, books and essays about freedom, democracy, human rights, political improvements, 100 files of justice grievances filed by the people against the government, tens of floppy drives and CD-ROM contained mentioned above documentation and various software. About 20 members of the P24 and A42 illegally raided the residence and confiscated
those properties at 15 to 18 hours of August 12, 2006.

5) Citizen Do Nam Hai, residing at 441 Nguyen Kiem street, Phu Nhuan district, Sai Gon.

Properties that were illegally confiscated and sealed from him composed of: 3 CPU (2 confiscated, 1 sealed), 12 books title "Let's Have a General Referendum" (1 original, 11 photocopied ones), 1 digital camera and many documentation on democracy. The properties were valued at VN$25,000,000.

6) Citizen Tran Anh Kim, residing at 502 Pho Quang Trung, Thai Binh city.

Properties that were illegally confiscated from him composed of: 1 brand new computer valued at VN$15,000,000, 1 recorder valued at VN$2,000,000, some petition letters from people mistreated by government and his essays on democracy.

7) Citizen Bach Ngoc Duong, whose rights of domicile has been seriously violated.

Properties that were illegally confiscated from him composed of: 1 book titled "Declaration of Human Rights and Civil Rights 1789". This is a priceless book. This book was confiscated by a group of more than 20 members from A42, village security force, chief of residential
unit during an illegal raid from 19 to 23 hoes August 12, 2006. One 1 GB USB flashcard valued at VN$500,000 with personal information, 1 camera 256 MB flashcard valued at VN$500,000, they both were confiscated by security officers Dang Hong Duc and Doan Anh Thuy from A42
during a personal search on September 1, 2006. The confiscated report declared that these flashcards contained "bad content" essays, documentations even though there was no such documentation stored. A 42 confiscated the camera flashcard with intention to restore sound
files that were erased.

8) Citizen Le Tri Tue, residing in Sai Gon.

Properties that were illegally confiscated from him composed of: 1 USB card and some business documentation after his visitation with Mr. Tran Anh Kim in the middle of August 2006.

9) Citizen Kha Van Chau, a mistreated citizen who in many years have filed complaints at Mai Xuan Thuong flower garden, Ha Noi, residing at Rach Gia, Kien Giang. Upon returning home from his visitation with Mr. Hoang Minh Chinh in the middle of August 2006, he was arrested,
searched and they confiscated VN$2,500,000 from him. Mr. Hoang Minh Chinh gave this money to Mr. Kha Van Chau to take care of his medical condition as requested so by the Most Reverend Thich Khong Tanh.

10) Citizen Nguyen Van Tuc and Vu Van Tai, residing at Dong La, Vu Thu, Thai Binh, having VN$190,000, one mobile phone valued at VN$1,000,000 confiscated with the reason that they received VN$190,000 from Mr. Nguyen Khac Toan for Mr. Hoang Minh Chinh which was
donated by the Most Reverend Thich Khong Tanh.

11) Citizen Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, residing at Diem wood mill commune, Cau Duong, Dong Anh Village, suburb of Ha Noi whose confiscated properties composed of one computer valued at VN$8,000,000, 1 USB Card valued at VN$300,000 during a terrifying raid at home.

12) Nguyen Van Dai, Le Thi Cong Nhan - Attorney at Law -- had their telephone lines discontented; internet services were threatened to be discontinued; they were arrested, invited for "working session" but in reality a summon for interrogation for many days due to their
political activities.

13) At the present time, there are citizens who are being illegally detained for no reason but simply out of their love for democracy, and they signed the petition to support the declaration of Democracy Freedom 8406, these are people like Truong Quoc Huy, Pham Ba Hai, Nguyen Ngoc Quang, Vu Hoang Hai, Tran Van Hoa, Vuong Quoc Hoai.

Additionally, there were other people who had their houses raided, properties confiscated but dared not speak up or were not included in this list. Presently, the SRVN security force is diligently, urgently and vigorously communicating to the people, village units, and
neighbors of the above individual the following verbatim propaganda:

"The Party, Government, Department of Security, the General Security Office has planned - after the success of APEC in November 2006, after all heads of states returned to their countries, after Viet Nam joined the WTO and especially after the US congress and
government passed the Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) -- to arrest, imprison all those counterrevolutionary elements who conspired to overthrow the people government, the socialism -- a path that the Party, Government, Uncle Ho and our people chose long time ago; those who opposed the Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPVN) , wreaked havoc the work to build the Socialism by the people - under the guidance of the CPVN. And this nationwide plan of arrest, suppression will be executed no later than the beginning of 2007."

That bold intimidating and terroristic statement made by the local security officers were instructed by higher authority to announce publicly during local people gathering, or where the mentioned above citizens residing. Such a plan was verified by revelations from
Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Binh of A42 General Department of Safety and hesitant statements from Upper-Colonel Nguyen Tien Dung of Ha Noi Security Office.

We therefore, earnestly appeal to local, overseas and international public opinion to be alert, getting ready to confront with worsened conditions that could be imposed in near future to the democracy advocates and citizens by the cruel regime of the CPVN.

To vigorously protest and demand security officers from A42 to return the properties of democracy advocates which were illegally confiscated during the terrorizing oppressive raids carried out recently.

Those properties might be meager in physical values but they were gigantic intellectual properties, we hereby sign our names together.

1) Hoang Minh Chinh
2) Nguyen Thanh Giang
3) Hoang Tien
4) Nguyen Khac Toan
5) Do Nam Hai
6) Tran Anh Kim
7) Bach Ngoc Duong
8) Le Tri Tue
9) Kha Van Chau
10) Nguyen Van Tuc
11) Tran Khai Thanh Thuy
12) Vu Van Tai

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vietnamese call the Vietnamese Communist party a gang of bandits. They robbed and killed tens of thousands of people during the "Land Reform" in the 1950s in North Vietnam.

They confiscated private properties of South Vietnamese after they conquered South Vietnam. They extorted money from boat people in the 1980s.

They robbed foreign aid destined to the poor of Vietnam in the 1990s and 2000s.

4:12 AM  

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