Reporters Without Borders has written to Vietnamese Prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung requesting the release of Pham Minh Hoang, a blogger with French and Vietnamese dual citizenship who will complete a year in detention this weekend. Hoang’s trial is due to begin on 10 August.
Paris, August 3, 2011
Dear Prime Minister,
Your government is about to try Pham Minh Hoang, a blogger with French and Vietnamese dual nationality.
Mr. Hoang is well known as a socially committed blogger who uses the blog name of Phan Kien Quoc. His articles on education, the environment and sovereignty as regards China have been widely circulated online. He participated in a campaign against bauxite mining by Chinese companies in Vietnam’s central highlands. He has taken part in conferences on Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands, an issue that has prompted many of your fellow citizens to take to the streets in recent days.
The Vietnamese justice system is going to try Mr. Hoang on a charge of trying to overthrow the people’s government because he wrote articles in his blog, gave extra-curricular training in leadership to his students and is a member of the Viet Tan pro-democracy party.
These activities are nonetheless guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and articles 35, 50, 53 and 69 of your country’s Constitution. The only appropriate outcome to Mr. Hoang’s trial would therefore be his acquittal and unconditional release. Mr. Hoang must recover his complete freedom.
Vietnam is increasingly the target of criticism for its human rights violations. As you begin your second term as Prime Minister, it falls to you to reverse this trend by putting a stop to the political arrests and trials.