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He is a son of an eminent poet Cu Huy Can, who gained his political position in Vietnam thanks to being a companion with the communism-led revolutionist Ho Chi Minh during Indochina War and Vietnam War from 1945. His mother was the sister of the famous poet Xuan Dieu.

He graduated with a dotorate in law from France's University of Paris. Cu Huy Ha Vu's wife Nguyen Thi Duong Ha is also a lawyer, together they are currently running a law firm in Hanoi.


He has been nationally well-known for filing a charge against the Politforio Standing Committee member – Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung regarding to his outrage bauxite mining in Vietnam's region of Central Highlands Tay Nguyen. Consequently, as Cu Huy Ha Vu's prediction, the People's Court of Hanoi, and after that, the Vietnam Supreme Court rejected the lawsuit.

In early September 2010, Cu Huy Ha Vu pursued another legal protestation against the prime minister for his Determination No.136. It is the decision that strictly prohibited citizens from filing petitions and complaints against the communist government.

In October 2010, Cu Huy Ha Vu's law firm was in charge of a defense for the Catholics of Con Dau parish in Da Nang, those who was seized by legal authority, taking them into custody since May after a police's crack down on a funeral ceremony taking place on a disputed claimed-to-be churchyard. In a predictable initiative, the People's Court of the local district rejected granting permission for Cu Huy Ha Vu's law firm the rights to represent those Christian defendants.

He was later arrested in November 2010 when he filed a sequent lawsuit against the prime minister on the much-controversial Determination No.136 in October, which was taken place in a Ho Chi Minh-based hotel. Photos from the security force showed him in a room with another woman who is also a lawyer. The police later seized his laptop and, at the same time, dispatched another team to raid his home and law office in Hanoi.

Calling for an amendment of Article 4 of The Vietnam Constitution

One of the most distinctive moves of Cu Huy Ha Vu was his vigorous demand for an official eradication of the Article 4 of the current Constitution of Vietnam, by which it states the Communist Party of Vietnam as the only force adhering leadership of the State and society. Regarding to the status quo of Vietnam with numerous malpractices and misconducts in law enforcement, he assert that it is the consequence from the absolute-power-assumed leadership of Vietnam Communist Party stated in Article 4.

He also mentioned that the absolute-power-presumed Article 4 is the principal reason why the Judicial body has never challenged the state officials, the Assembly never dismiss the current inefficient and heavily corrupted cabinet. All of the government branches including the Legislation, the Judiciary or the Executive are readily manipulated by the Vietnam Communist Party for its own purposes rather than working for the Vietnamese citizens at will.

In an interview with Voice of America, when asked for his opinion toward a recent speech of a Poliforio Standing Committee member Nguyen Minh Triet, who proclaimed that doing away Article 4 of the Constitution is an act of committing suicide, he responded that it was a sign of lack of confidence among high-ranking Communist Party members and in the Communist Party itself as when it comes to abolishing Article 4, there will be other political parties to be formed and either the monopolistic power control of the Vietnam Communist party can be miserably terminated or the Party will be forsaken by its own members.

Domestic response

Another legal scholar, lawyer Tran Lam who also defended for both Le Thi Cong Nhan and Nguyen Van Dai responded in an interview with BBCVietnamese that the communist-government has been deeply anxious and uneasy by Cu Huy Ha Vu's recent legal activities: "It seemed likely that those top communist leaders felt disturbed by Cu Huy Ha Vu's moves. There is also a forthcoming five-yearly Communist Party meeting; therefore, they found compromise in this case is not a choice. Cu Huy Ha Vu's detention, as a result, was well-prepared. The reason may partly because he got himself involved into so many recently burning politics-related issues. If we take into account the same arrests in the past, those political detainees got punished because of their straightforward and well-perceived plans of anti-government propaganda or plotting to overthrow the communist-government. However, in this case people may be confused as they hardly realize the motive behind Cu Huy Ha Vu's punishment, wondering whether it is his anti-communist government motive or his desire to build up a rule-of-law and responsible government".

International response

According to foreign media such as The Associated PressAFP and UNHCR, the latest detention of Cu Huy Ha Vu is another in a long line of Vietnam communist government's determination to silence lawyers and dissidents who dared to challenge the government during the past five years

Human Rights Watch's Asia deputy director, Phil Roberson, called for an immediate and unconditional release for Cu Huy Ha Vu. The organization asserted that Cu Huy Ha Vu is just another victim of Vietnamese government's savage campaigns against independent lawyers and activists who advocated human rights and questioned on official's malpractices. The deputy director strongly reiterated Vietnamese government to abrogate its Article 88 and Article 79 by which it criminalize peaceful expressions and association of the citizens.

According to AFP's correspondent Ian Timberlake the motive behind Cu Huy Ha Vu's detention is a sign of an increasing sense of dissent in Vietnam partly due to the upcoming five-yearly communist Party legislature's meeting which will be hold in January 2011 to decide which leaders will run the one-party state.


On 4, April 2011 he was sentenced to 7 years in prison for "spreading anti-state propaganda". The United States of America has criticised Vietnam for jailing activist Cu Huy Ha Vu, with US state department spokesman Mark Toner saying that the "apparent lack of due process" at Vu's trial was troubling.





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