May 11, 2007
Saigon, May 11, 2007
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I regret that my circumstances prevent me from personally attending the 13th commemoration of Vietnam Human Rights Day. Regardless of extensive surveillance and restrictions, I would like to share with you the following:
After joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) the politburo of the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) reverted to their duplicitous nature: Not only did they ignore the commitments on improvements of human rights, reached with the United States and the world community for WTO, but they brutally carried out one of the most extensive crackdown on people who advocate respect for human rights, democracy, and freedom. Examples include the arrest and trial of Father Nguyen Van Ly, a Catholic priest, in a sham procedure and sentenced him to 8 years of imprisonment and 5 years of house arrest. Especially egregious was the physical muzzling of Father Ly right in the courtroom and in front of international media. That barbaric act has caused consternation everywhere and it is the most eloquent indictment of the Hanoi dictatorship.
In addition, the world witnessed Hanoi’s use of violent thugs to prevent the wives of some dissidents from meeting with the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, in front of his residence as witnessed by U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez of California. Furthermore, not only did the communist regime renege on the release of journalist Nguyen Vu Binh, as promised the U.S. Secretary of State prior to the APEC forum in Hanoi in November 2006, but they arrested attorneys Le Quoc Quan and Nguyen Thi Thuy Trang, writer Tran Khai Thanh Thuy. They also announced the plan to bring to trial 6 other dissidents this month: Doctor Le Nguyen Sang, reporter Huynh Nguyen Dao, and attorney Nguyen Bac Truyen on May 10; attorneys Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan on May 11; and attorney Tran Quoc Hien on May 15. These are the young activists who are patriotic and willing to fight for a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous Vietnam. They must be glorified instead of being persecuted.
I am earnestly calling on every Vietnamese, in country and overseas, to join with the world community to condemn the ruthless and uncivilized behavior of the Vietnamese communists. We have to tell the VCP’s politburo that the Vietnamese people are determined to dissolve the one-party communist dictatorship, including the so-called National Assembly, to be elected on May 20, 2007.
In these trying times, I solemnly proclaim to the Vietnamese people and the world citizens that:
1. The process of democratization is the aspiration of every Vietnamese. Democratization is inevitable after Vietnam’s accession to the WTO; it can not be reversed by any powers or forces, including the evil communists.
2. Freedom and democracy are not empty slogans but essential ingredients of a life with dignity for an individual in the world today. For that very reason, the Vietnamese people must accept sacrifices to fight for their rights; no one can grant them to anybody. We, inside Vietnam, pledge to continue the struggle under the banner of Freedom and Democracy, regardless of dangers, until the final victory of freedom.
I wish you a successful ceremony on Vietnam Human Rights Day.
On this occasion, I also wish to express our appreciation to the senators and representatives of the U.S. Congress, international human rights organizations, the U.S. government and the American people who have supported the peaceful struggle for freedom and democracy of the Vietnamese people. Lastly, I congratulate “Rallying for Democracy” Radio for its timely contribution to raise the voice of the people in the process of dismantling the communist dictatorship and rebuilding a more humane Vietnam.
Dr. Nguyen Dan Que