To: – Our fellow Vietnamese at home and abroad
– The world democratic governments, human rights organizations and the free world communities.
In the year 2011, all humankind acknowledges, benefits from and celebrates the 63-year anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations in 1948, from which the Convention on Civil Rights, Political, Economic, Social and Culture were developed. These are important international documents confirming that the above five types of essential rights are the true symbols of human civilization. It is imperative duty that each government must implement and strive to achieve these ultimate goals.
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1982. However, up until today, under the total control of the Communist Party of Vietnam, we question the commitment of the Vietnamese Government to human rights. The Year End Review for 2011 by Block 8406 presents the following findings:
1 – Civil rights are trampled
– Religious believers who stood up to reclaim freedom of religion and the Church were subjected to psychological and physical abuse, humiliation (such as priests and parishioners of Thai Ha during the months of Nov.10, 2011), capture and detention (such as Father Nguyen Van Ly, Pastor Nguyen Trung Ton, 15 young Catholics in Nghe An and Thanh Hoa) and severe court trial (like two believers of Buddhist Hoa Hao Nguyen Van Lia and Tran Hoai An, Dec. 13, 2011). They were also attacked with weapons (My Loc parishes, Ha Tinh on Nov. 22, 2011), and with explosives (thrown into the church of Con Cuong, Nghe An on Nov. 30, 2011). They were even prohibited to celebrate Christmas (Protestant Church Mennonite My Phuoc, Binh Duong on Dec. 24, 2011).
– Many people who only violated simple road rules were often assaulted by policemen, causing injuries, and even death (as is the case Trinh Xuan Tung in Hanoi), other citizens involved in less serious criminal cases also suffered torture and death at the hands of the investigator (as the case of Nguyen Cong Nhut at Binh Duong). So far, none of these cases has been brought to light or given proper trial.
– In particular, political trials were often conducted in violation of legal procedures, such as gagging the defendant, interrupting the defense lawyer during proceedings, not providing evidence as requested , or letting family members, the press, and public participate (even assaulted those who wanted to witness), charging unfairly and heavily (like in the case of processing the appeal court lawyer Cu Huy Ha Vu on Aug. 02, 2011 and the trial of two Hoa Hao Buddhist followers Nguyen Van Lia and Tran Hoai An on Dec. 13, 2011).
– Many people were arrested without any order of the appropriate authority. Very often their relatives were not informed about the date, time, place and reason for detention. During the trial process, the defendants were not allowed to meet with their lawyers and families, as allowed by the law (as the case of Ta Phong Tan and other 15 young Catholics in Nghe An and Thanh Hoa)
2 – Political rights are stripped
Political dissidents continue to be threatened, harassed, and imprisoned for daring to speak out about the mistakes, or denounce the crimes of, the Communist authorities. Some particular cases include the case of freelance journalist Nguyen Hoang Hai (who was detained after finishing the sentence, and recently has disappeared), Professor Pham Minh Hoang (sentenced to three years, has just been reduced), civil lawyer Cu Huy Ha Vu (sentenced to seven years in prison), freelance journalist Ta Phong Tan (kidnapped in September 2011), Ms Ho Thi Bich Khuong (“Angel of grieving farmers”, imprisoned for the second time on Jan. 15, 2011, and has been on trial since Dec. 29, 2011), democracy writer Huynh Ngoc Tuan and his two children, Huynh Thuc Vy, Huynh Trong Hieu (whose houses were searched and looted. Subsequently, they were heavily fined, intimidated and have been put on probation since Nov. 08, 2011).
Patriotic citizens who marched through the streets of Hanoi – to protest against China’s violation of Vietnam territory since June 2011, or to support the introduction of demonstration law (on Nov. 27, 2011) – have been slandered and kicked (as in the case of Mr. Nguyen Chi Duc), intimidated, dismissed from school or fired from work (as in the case of Mr. Nguyen Van Phuong), stripped of their assets, and humiliated (as in the case of Mr. Bui Thanh Hieu). In some cases, their homes were destroyed, and they were put into prison disguised as “educational institutions” without being charged (as Ms. Bui Thi Minh Hang on Nov. 27, 2011).
Furthermore, the opinions and concerns raised in the petitions, personal letters, and protests on the web pages, blog about amending the Constitution or foreign policy – especially with China Communist aggression – were ignored by the authorities. Many people, who signed the petitions, were threatened and coerced to withdraw their signatures (such as the recommendations of the intellectuals group of Bauxite VN).
3 –National Economy is totally controlled by the corrupt regime
More than 20 state–owned corporations, which are called the ‘iron fists’ covering the entire national economy, are now in the hands of the Communist party and authorities, particularly in that of Communist Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. In reality, these ‘iron fists’ are punching into the business rights of the people and economy of the country by holding most of the national resources, public tax money (80% of social capital), and the total control of the national market. As a result, they do business with dishonesty and corruption, leading to the loss of hundreds of billions of USD (such as shipbuilding company Vinashin, Power Company EVN), accompanied by a decrease in value of the currency dong, increased cost of living and mounting international debt. According to Saigon Tiep Thi News, Vietnam has borrowed from 25 bilateral and 9 multilateral partners, including Algeria, Iraq, Kuwait, China, Taiwan, with the largest creditor being Japan with US$ 9.5 billion, the International Development Association (IDA) US$ 9.6 billion, the Asian Development Bank ADB US$ 4.1 billion, France US$ 1.1 billion , Russia US$ 568 million. Particularly in 2011, the amount of interest and fees charged to Vietnam for foreign debt is US$ 522 million , and in 2015 would be US$ 423 million. They all consequently cause misery for the entire population, leading the country to the brink of economic disaster and cause the country more dependence on the foreign financial wealth (especially China’s invasion).
According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (2011), as of September 2011, nearly 49,000 businesses have stopped working, stopped paying taxes, dissolved, bankrupted or closed down, of which 5,800 enterprises are classified as bankrupted or dissolved.
4- The social rights were looked down upon
-Farmers and home owners’ plight of land ownership is persistently taken away. Vietnamese farmers are also neglected by the government due to 1) the lack of appropriate agricultural policies and control of the associations, 2) food companies exploiting their workers (like in the case of Mr. Huynh Kim Hai, “Letter from a farmer sent to General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong,” dated Nov. 27, 2011), 3) no intention to prevent misuse of power or injustices, instead allowed local police to take over land unjustly. Those who stood up, or claimed benefits for farmers, were oppressed and imprisoned (as in Ben Tre for the case hearing on May 30, 2011 for innocent citizens Duong Kim Khai, Tran Thi Thuy, Pham Ngoc Hoa, Pham Van Thong, Nguyen Thanh Tam, Chi Thanh, Cao Van Tinh).
-Workers are deprived of the right to strike. They are also ignored by the authorities due to lack of proper labor policies, lack of control of the enterprise companies (especially foreign companies) labor exploitation and suppression of workers, causing them to stand up (in particular with more than 65,000 workers protest at the company Pou Yuen-Tan Tao, Tan Binh, Saigon during June 21-23, 2011, also hundreds of workers from Company Gia Duc, Ha Noi staged a stop work on June 23, 2011, resulting in one death and six wounded). The state–established unions have total control of the workers and are often on the side of the exploiters. They even collaborated with the regime to oppress workers. Those who fought for dignity of labor rights and fair pay were also harassed, assaulted, and imprisoned (such as three young worker leaders Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung, Doan Huy Chuong, and Do Thi Minh Hanh sentenced on Oct. 26, 2010 at Tra Vinh with severe prison terms).
-Health care is becoming worse with much tragedy: not enough hospital, severely understaffed, lack of expertise and lack of medical ethics, excessive hospital charges and medical costs but with insufficient services; poor people going to the hospital consequently suffered more pain or death.
The right to environmental security of the people is increasingly threatened by the construction of hydroelectric plants along the central region without any control and coordination, leading to severe flooding with detrimental effects on people and property. Reckless and irresponsible bauxite mining is causing chemicals and toxic red sludge spills into the farms and fields (like the case on Sept. 22, 2011 at Tan Rai). Also, the reckless decision made by Communist PM Nguyen Tan Dung on Oct. 2011, regarding the construction of a nuclear power plant in Ninh Thuan despite extremely unfavorable conditions and known consequences. Fishermen continue to be at a high risk of being maltreated when encountering Chinese ships, while farmers are facing increased fraudulent plots from Chinese traders.
5 – Cultural rights are overlooked
The education system is in a downward spiral. Lack of schools, shortage of teachers, or lack of suitable learning environments (classrooms have no hard walls/floor, such as in Meo Vac, Ha Giang). Many students must use swing wires to cross the river or swim through the stream to go to school (as in Minh Hoa, Quang Binh). An education system full of evils, such as fake scores, fake degrees, high fees, costs of all kinds, teachers teaching extra hours in forced tutoring to earn more money, pushing 1.2 million students to drop out of school during the 2008 to 2011 period (UNESCO 2011). An education system that only drives students to practice dishonesty, violence, apathy (many video clip “student fighting” was posted on Internet), with some even resorting to prostitution to pay for education (Report Nov, 2011 from the Ministry of Public Security). Most importantly, it is not an education to grow free thinkers and mature individuals to build a civilized society but an education system that only trains the citizens to be blind slaves of the party and state. The aforementioned vices have destructive consequences on the future of the country and the Nation.
At the same time, Chinese culture is being promoted through many films, TV programs which cause students to remember more of Chinese history than history of Vietnam, follow the Chinese culture more than the culture of Vietnam; particularly through the establishment of Confucius Institutes with a cunning intention: making people bow to the power of the powerful entity (i.e. China) and that of the Vietnamese communist government state.
With the above assessment, Bloc 8406 demands that the communist atheistic materialism that poisoned our minds must be abandoned, the communist inhumanity is destroying our society and must be dissolved, and the communist party totalitarian regime, which has betrayed the country and harmed its citizens, must return all legitimate rights to the people, including the right to elect a different political party that has sufficient merit to run the country.
Viet Nam, December 30, 2011
Interim Board of Representatives Bloc 8406:
1. Engineer Do Nam Hai – 441 Nguyen Kiem, P. 9, Q. Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam.
2. Father Phan Van Loi – 16/46 Tran Phu Street, Hue City, Vietnam. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Professor Nguyen Chinh Ket – Representative Block 8406 Overseas.
This Year End Review written in communion with Father Nguyen Van Ly, Veteran Tran Anh Kim, Writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia, and many political and religious prisoners who are currently detained in communist prisons.