CCPJ appeals for writers and journalists to be freed in Vietnam

Wednesday, May 27, 1998

The Honourable Phan Van Khai
Prime Minister of Vietnam
VP. Thu Tuong
Hoang Hoa Tham,
1 Bach Thao Street
Hanoi, Vietnam
Fax: +84 4 845 9205

27 May 1998

Honourable Phan Van Khai,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Canadian Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent organisation dedicated to freedom of expression worldwide, to appeal for the release of those imprisoned unjustly in Vietnam for exercising their right to freedom of expression. We remind you that it is the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19 of which guarantees freedom of expression and opinion, and we urge you to take this opportunity to free Professor Doan Viet Hoat and the many other journalists and writers unfairly imprisoned in Vietnam.

Professor Doan was the editor and publisher of "Dien Dan Tu Do" ("Freedom Forum"), a small underground magazine, in which he demanded the freedom of all political prisoners in addition to fair elections. Arrested in 1990, Doan was charged in 1993 with "setting up a reactionary organization" and faced a twenty-year prison sentence, which on appeal was commuted to 15 years imprisonment and five years house arrest. Doan is suffering from kidney stones and urinates blood, a condition for which he receives no medical attention.

On 1 June 1998 the World Association of Newspapers awards its prestigious 1998 Golden Pen of Freedom Award to Doan. We join their campaign to free Doan and others imprisoned merely for expressing themselves in writing.

Some of them also worked for "Freedom Forum", including Nguyen Van Thuan (pen name Chau Son and Thai Vi Thuy), who was detained with Doan in the round up of "Freedom Forum" staff. He received a sentence of 18 years imprisonment, which was eventually reduced to 12 years on appeal. After suffering a stroke in 1994, Nguyen is paralysed on one side of his body, and while he remains in a re-education camp he does not participate in any forced labour.

Among the other imprisoned journalists and writers in Vietnam are Nguyen Hoang Linh, editor of the state-run business newspaper "Doang Nghiep" ("Enterprise"), and writer Dr. Nguyen Dan Que (pen name Nguyen Chau), serving 20 years in prison with 15 years hard labour since 1991.

We appeal for the immediate release of all those imprisoned in Vietnam merely for exercising their right to freedom of expression, most of them sentenced to outrageously long sentences. We await your response

Yours sincerely,
Wayne Sharpe

cc. President Tran Duc Luong Office of the State VP. Chinh Phu 1 Bach Thao, Hanoi Vietnam Fax: +84 4 823 3545

His Excellency Le Kha Phieu General Secretary, Communist Party of Vietnam V.P Trung Uong Dang Nguyen Canh Chan, 1 A Hunh Vuong Hanoi, Vietnam Fax: +84 4 845 9205

Canada : Vietnam Embassy 226 Maclaren St. Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 0L9, Canada Tel: (613) 236-0772 Fax: (613) 236-2704

Algeria : Vietnam Embassy 30 rue du Chenoua Hydra Algeria Fax: 213-2693778

Angola : Vietnam Embassy 66 N Zazi Alvalade Luanda, Angola Tel : 244-2-3388 Fax: 244-2-397731

Argentina: Vietnam Embassy Arribenos 1539, CP 1426 CF Buenos Aires Tel: 54-1-7830438 Fax: 54-1-7820078

Australia : Vietnam Embassy 6Timbarra Crescent O'Malley Act, Canberra, Australia Tel: 61-6062866059 Fax: 61-6062864534

Consulate General 489 New South, Head Road Double Bay, NSW 2028, Sydney, Australia Tel: 61-02-3272539 Fax: 61-02-3281653

Belgium : Vietnam Embassy 130 Ave. de la Floride 1180 Bruxelles Tel: 322-3749133 Fax: 322-3749376

Brunei : Vietnam Embassy Lot 13489 Jalan Manggis Dua (off Jalan Muara) Bandar Seri Bagawan, Brunei Darussalam Tel: 673-2-343168 Fax: 673-2-343169

Bulgaria : Vietnam Embassy Sofia 1113 UI "1 Petrov" Tel: 3592-658334

Cambodia : Vietnam Embassy 436 Bld Preach, Monivong Phnompenh Tel: 85-5-18811804 Fax: 85-515345361

China : Vietnam Embassy 32 Guang Hua Lu Jian guo Men Wai, Beijing, China Tel: 86-10-6527908 Fax: 86-10-65325720

Cuba: Vietnam Embassy Calle 18, No. 1802, 5 ta Ave-Miramar, La Habana, Cuba Tel: 53-7-331 501 Fax: 53-7-334041

Czech Republic: Vietnam Embassy Plzenska 214-1500 Praha 5, Czech Tel: 57211540 Fax: 57211792

France : Vietnam Embassy 62 rue Bolleau 75016, Paris, France Tel: 33-1-44146400 Fax: 33-1-45243948

Germany : Vietnam Embassy Konstantin St. 37, 53179, Bonn, Germany Tel: 49-228-357021 Fax: 49-228-351866

Geneva : Mission To the UN 34 Chemin Francois, 1218 Grand Saconnex, Geneva Tel: 41-22-7982485 Fax: 41-22-7980724

Indonesia : Vietnam Embassy 25 Jalna Teuku Umar, Jakarta, Indonesia Tel: 62-21-3100358 Fax: 62-21-3149615

Hungary : Vietnam Embassy 1068 Benczur U. 18, Budapest, Hungary Tel: 36-1-3429922 Fax: 36-1-2679362

Italy : Vietnam Embassy 34 Via Clituno, 00198 Roma, Italy Tel: 39-6-8543223 Fax: 39-6-8548501

Japan : Vietnam Embassy 50-11 Motoyoygi-Cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 151 Japan Tel: 81-3-34663313 Fax: 81-3-34663391

South Korea : Vietnam Embassy 28-58 Samchongdong, Chongnoky, Seoul, Korea Tel: 82-2-7392065 Fax: 82-2-7392064

Malaysia : Vietnam Embassy 4 Persiaran Stonar, Kualar Lumpur, Malaysia, 50450 Tel: 60-3-2484036 Fax: 60-3-2483270

Taiwan : Economic and Cultural Representative Office 3F No. 65 Sung Chiang Road Taipei, Taiwan Tel: 88-62-5166626 Fax: 88-62-5166625

Mexico : Vietnam Embassy 255 Sierra Ventana Lomas de Chapultepec, D.F., Mexico Tel: 52-5-5401632 Fax: 52-5-5401612

New York Mission to The UN 20 Waterside Plaza New York, NY, 10010 Tel: 212-697 3779 Fax: 212- 686 8534

USA : Vietnam Embassy 1233 20th St. N.W. Suite 501 Washington DC 20036, USA Tel: 202- 861 0737 Fax: 202-861-0917

Philippines : Vietnam Embassy 554 Vito Cruz, Malate, Manila, Philippines Tel : 63-2 5240364 Fax: 63-2 5260472

Poland : Vietnam Embassy UI Kazimievzowska 14, Warsaw, Poland Tel: 4822-446021 Fax: 4822-446723

Romania : Vietnam Embassy 35 Rosetti Bucuresti, Romania Tel: 401-210 9438 Fax: 401-210 9438

Russia : Vietnam Embassy Moscow, Bolshaya, Pirogovskaya 13, Russia Tel: 7095 2470112 Fax: 7095-9566327

Singapore : Vietnam Embassy 10 Leedon Park Singapore, 1026 Tel: 65 462 5938 Fax: 65 462 5936

Sweden : Vietnam Embassy Orby Slottsvag 26, 12571 ALVSJO, Stockholm Tel: 46-8-861218 Fax: 46-8-995713

Switzerland : Consulate General 13 Chemin Taverney 1218 Grand Saconnex, Geneva Tel: 41-22-7989866 Fax: 41-22-7989858

United Kingdom: Vietnam Embassy Victoria Road 12-14 London, W8-5rd Tel: 44-171- 9371912 Fax: 44-171-9376108