VETO! Human Rights Defenders‘ Network: On March 18, 2016, MP Martin Patzelt, member of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid of German parliament (Bundestag), issued the below press release announcing his trip to Vietnam to observe the trial of Mr. Nguyen Huu Vinh (Blogger Anhbasam) and Ms. Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy.
MP Patzelt has repeatedly met Ms. Le Thi Minh Ha, Vinh´s wife, who advocated for the release of her husband at the German Bundestag. Besides Mr. Patzelt, Ms. Ha also received support from other Members of Parliament (MP): MP Michael Brand and MP Frank Heinrich (CDU/CSU), MP Sabine Batzing-Lichtenthäler (SPD), MP Tom Koenigs and MP Omid Nouripour (Alliance 90/ The Greens) and MP Christoph Strässer (SPD), Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid.
(Translation by VETO!)
Press Release on March 18, 2016:
Trial observer in the case against the Vietnamese Blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh (The Gossiper)
On Sunday, March 20, 2016, Martin Patzelt (CDU), member of the German Bundestag (MP), will fly to Hanoi to conduct a trial observation in the case of blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh. Nguyen Huu Vinh, with Blogger name Anhbasam (The Gossiper), is one of the most prominent bloggers and human rights activists in Vietnam. He was arrested on May 5, 2014, together with his staff member Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy. A first trial date in January was canceled. A new date is now scheduled for March 23, at 8:30 AM local time. Mr. Patzelt will be present on this day at the People’s Court in Hanoi. He has applied for admission as observer of the trial, but has not yet received any approval.
Mr. Vinh is accused of “abusing democratic freedoms.” Mr. Patzelt assumes that Mr. Nguyen Huu Vinh did not intend with his alleged behavior to do any harm to his homeland Vietnam but rather, from his point of view, has been interested in a prosperous and positive development of his country
The human rights organization VETO! considers the arrest of Vinh and his staff member “arbitrary”. VETO! has drawn attention to a range of infringements in the process up to the present. Thus the maximum pre-trial detention period of nine months was exceeded. The Vietnamese authorities also tried to delay the process. The People’s Court of Hanoi had the files referred back three times to the Supreme Procuracy. According to the Vietnamese Criminal Procedure Code, the People’s Court may refer the file back twice at most (Article 121 Vietnamese Criminal Procedure Code).
Martin Patzelt is a member of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid of German Bundestag. He met the wife of the defendant several times in Berlin. He also advocates for Mr. Vinh in the framework of the Bundestag’s program “Parliamentarians Protect Parliamentarians”, which also supports human rights activists. In a letter to the Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Mr. Patzelt called for a fair trial with the aim of a release.
Photo of Mrs. Le Thi Minh Ha on Website of German Bundestag:
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