Human Rights For patriot youths In Vietnam
- United Nations ; President Obama Worlds Leaders and Human Rights Watch
Freedom For Nguyen Phuong Uyen and Dinh Nguyen Kha
False Charge by the Ministry of Public Security against Nguyen Phuong Uyen and Dinh Nguyen Kha
The indictment by the General Department of Security and the Department of Defending Political Order (under Ministry of Public Security) concluded its wordy and verbose “arguments” with the following charge:
“By taking the above-mentioned acts, the accused, Dinh Nguyen Kha and Nguyen Phuong Uyen, have committed “conducting propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam” under Article 88 of the Penal Code:
1. Those who commit one of the following acts against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam shall be sentenced to between three and twelve years of imprisonment:
a) Propagating against, distorting and/or defaming the people's administration;
b) Propagating psychological warfare and spreading fabricated news in order to foment confusion among people;
c) Making, storing and/or circulating documents and/or cultural products with contents against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Kindly notice that the subjects of Article 88 include the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Vietnamese people.
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Now what are the “crimes” that Phuong Uyen and Nguyen Kha committed, according to the verbatim indictment? Which acts they took does the Ministry of Public Security define to be against “the people’s administration”, “the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”, and “to foment confusion among people”?
1. Gluing on a tree-trunk the slogan “Long An’s patriot youths (will) struggle for freedom and human rights.”
2. Gluing on the wall a yellow, 3-red strip flag with 3 red strips and the slogan “1890-1920: national flag of the Great Vietnam from Thanh Thai to Khai Dinh reign; 1948-1975: national flag of the Vietnam State”.
3. A picture depicting a big policeman pointing his club toward a line of queuing people.
By no means do these three acts violate Article 88.
- Struggling for freedom and human rights cannot be identical with “propagating against, distorting and/or defaming the people's administration” or “propagating psychological warfare and spreading fabricated news in order to foment confusion among people.”
Conversely, struggling for freedom and human rights is among the Vietnamese citizens’ rights that are guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Vietnam is a signatory and has committed itself. Under this declaration, “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.”
Gluing a yellow, 3-red-strip flag on a wall, with a statement about its historical origin, cannot be considered as an act against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. There is not any Vietnamese legislation on prohibiting citizens to present and to disseminate historical data.
The picture depicting a big policeman pointing his club toward the queuing line is nothing more than a representation of social realities. Police’s assault and battery against civilians have truly happened and reported by the media. Reflecting social realities cannot be considered to be “propaganda against the State.”
4. Gluing on a wall the slogan “Patriotic youths are determined to eliminate communism and free the nation,” and “Long An is courageous and resolute in fighting communists for a free life.”
5. Finger-writing in blood “contents that defame the Vietnamese Communist Party.”
The targets of these slogans are communism, communists and the Communist Party, not the people’s administration or the State. Definitely the Vietnamese Communist Party and the SRV State are two distinctly separate legal entities.
6. Finger-writing in blood “contents that are not good about China.”
This is the photo of such contents:
China, get off East Sea
Briefly speaking, Nguyen Phuong Uyen and Dinh Nguyen Kha can only be “guilty” under Article 88 if all such phrases as “people’s administration” and “the SRV State” are rewritten as “Chinese administration” and “the RoC State.”
Being so nonsensical, the charge that Uyen and Kha wrote in blood, with their fingers, contents “that are not good about China” clearly demonstrates the motives behind the indictment.
7. Writing pamphlets with 116 words in average, attached with small change, to misrepresent history, government policies, maritime sovereignty and religions, to defame the state, and to call on people to protest against the Vietnamese Communist Party.
Because the indictment does not elaborate on the contents of the pamphlet, we cannot give precise analyses and comments. However, looking back on indictments of the trials against such political dissidents as Cu Huy Ha Vu, Pham Thanh Nghien, Nguyen Van Hai (aka. Dieu Cay), we can see clearly what it means by “to misrepresent history, government policies, maritime sovereignty and religions, to defame the state, and to call on people to protest against the Vietnamese Communist Party.”
All of the author’s arguments are given based on the indictment. This does not mean all what the Ministry of Public Security charged the two students with is right. On the contrary, the indictment just shows us a great many absurd and false accusations. The biggest wrong which nullifies the indictment is the equation of the Vietnamese Communist Party with the SRV State.
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