Vietnamese Democracy Activist Wins Prestigious South Korean Human Rights Award

Saigon, Vietnam – 4 May 2016

Vietnamese democracy activist, Dr. Nguyen Dan Que, is the 2016 co-recipient of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights. Dr. Nguyen Dan Que is the first Vietnamese winner of this prestigious Human Rights award, which has since 2000 been given to those who promote human rights, democracy and peace in their work. Burma’s Aung San Su Kyi also received this award in 2004.

“Dr. Nguyen Dan Que has been a tenacious and fearless activist for human rights from the beginning of the non-violent and pro-democracy movement in Vietnam,” says Huynh Thuc-Vy, Coordinator of Vietnamese Women for Human Rights, an independent civil society organization inside Vietnam that nominated Dr. Nguyen Dan Que for the award. Ms. Thuc-Vy adds, “Dr. Nguyen Dan Que was critical in the founding of our organization and his work is an inspiration to many pro-democracy activists across the country.”

Dr. Nguyen Dan Que’s work includes the founding of pro-democracy and non-violent National Progressive Front and High Tide of Humanism movement to advocate for the basic human rights and free election for all Vietnamese people. Dr. Nguyen Dan Que is also the co-founder of Vietnamese Blogger Network and the Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience to continue rallying for human rights and democracy in Vietnam. Even when he was given the opportunity to leave the country, he chose to stay and fight regardless of the challenges that he endured, which include imprisonment with hard labor, torture, and house arrest.

Currently, Dr. Nguyen Dan Que resides in Saigon and is restricted from traveling outside of the city and abroad by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam’s government. Since both Dr. Nguyen Dan Que and Ms. Huynh Thuc Vy are blocked from international travel, they are unable to travel to South Korea to attend the award ceremony invited by 2016 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Committee on May 18, 2016.

The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights is an award that marks the celebration of the May 1980 Gwangju Democratization Movement. Dr. Nguyen Dan Que and BERSIH 2.0, a Malaysia-based movement for clean and fair elections are co-recipients of the 2016 award.

Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience (FVPOC) is an independent civil society organization comprised of former prisoners of conscience. FVPOC fights in peaceful and moderate fashion for the rule of law that would hold up human dignity, human rights, freedom, and democracy; for a prison system that would include only criminal inmates treated in humane fashion in accordance with international criteria and for a Vietnam that is civilized and prosperous, a society that is peaceful and harmonious in which the whole population lives in freedom and in true mastership of their lives. FVPOC provides material and spiritual support for former Vietnamese prisoners of conscience. FVPOC is the member of the Vietnam Independent Civil Society Organization Network (VICSON).

Vietnamese Women for Human Rights (VNWHR) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization, which acts to protect and promote human rights, especially women’s human rights, and protect the interests and promote roles of Vietnamese women in the society. VNWHR’s main activities are to support materially and spiritually women who are mothers, wives, and children of dissidents and prisoners of conscience. Moreover, VNWHR gives a voice to and protect women whose dignity and basic rights such as the freedom of expression, freedom of religions and beliefs and freedom of assembly have been violated. VNWHR is a founding member of the Vietnam Independent Civil Society Organization Network (VICSON).

For more information about FVPOC, please visit fvpoc.org or cuutunhanluongtam.org

Contact by email: prisonersofconscience@fvpoc.org

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