26 May 2016 Update #2 to RAN 06/14
PEN International welcomes the early release of poet, essayist, scholar and Catholic priest Father Nguyen Van Ly. Father Nguyen Van Ly had been serving an eight-year prison sentence for ‘conducting propaganda against the state’ and was due for release in June 2016. His release is thought to be an act of goodwill ahead of United States President Obama’s visit to the country. PEN continues to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all those writers and activists imprisoned for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Vietnam is a state party.
Please send appeals:
- Welcoming the release of poet, essayist, scholar and Catholic priest Father Nguyen Van Ly;
- Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all other writers and activists imprisoned or detained for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression in accordance with Article 19 of the ICCPR to which Vietnam is state party.
His Excellency Tran Dai Quang
President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
Hung Vuong street
Ba Dinh district
Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc
1 Hoang Hoa Tham street
Ba Dinh district
Fax: +84 80 44130/ +84 80 44940
Mr Pham Binh Minh
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1 Ton That Dam street
Ba Dinh district
Fax: +844 3823 1872
Email: bc.mfa [at] mofa.gov [dot] vn
Please ask your country’s diplomatic representatives in Vietnam to intervene in the case. For some Vietnamese embassies in the world:
‘.((strlen(‘http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-of/Vietnam’)>40) ? substr(‘http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-of/Vietnam’,0,40).’…’ : ‘http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-of/Vietnam’).’‘
Father Nguyen Van Ly, a Catholic priest and co-editor of the underground online magazine Tu do Ngôn luan (Free Speech), was arrested on 19 February 2007 and sentenced to eight years in prison on 30 March 2007 for ‘conducting propaganda against the state’. Nguyen Van Ly is a leading member of the pro-democracy movement “Bloc 8406”. He was previously detained from 1977-1978, and again from 1983-1992 for his activism in support of freedom of expression and religion. He was sentenced again in October 2001 to 15 years in prison for his online publication of an essay on human rights violations in Vietnam, before being released under amnesty in February 2005. On 30 March 2007, a People’s Court in Hue sentenced him to ‘conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam’ under Article 88-1 (c) of the Criminal Code. On 14 November 2009, he reportedly suffered a stroke in prison. Nguyen Van Ly was granted provisional release so that he could seek medical treatment unavailable in prison on 15 March 2010, but was returned to a labour camp in Ha Nam province on 25 July 2011. In September 2010 the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called for his immediate and unconditional release.
Nguyen Van Ly was released from the labour camp on 20 May 2016, one month early. He now faces five years of probationary detention, part of the original sentence. Nguyen Van Ly’s health is reported to have severely deteriorated in prison.