Nguyen Van Dai faces up to 20 years imprisonment –
Joint action with MP Marie-Luise Dött and missio Aachen
(Bad Nauheim, March 1, 2017) – In a joint online-petition started today VETO! Human Rights Defenders’ Network, German MP Marie-Luise Dött (CDU) and the International Catholic Missionary Work Missio Aachen call for the release of the imprisoned Vietnamese human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and his assistant Le Thu Ha. They are detained since December 16, 2015, without being granted access to their attorneys.
“VETO! welcomes the joint campaign for the release of the two Vietnamese human rights defenders wrongly imprisoned. Many people will assist them because of their non-violent defense of the rights of others,” said Vu Quoc Dung, VETO! Executive Director, on the occasion of the joint campaign.
73 parliamentarians from 14 countries for Nguyen Van Dai
The German MP Marie-Luise Dött has resumed the parliamentary sponsorship for Nguyen Van Dai. She met him on a visit of the CDU/CSU Parlamentary Group in August 2015, shortly before his re-arrest in Hanoi. “His arrest has particularly disturbed me, and together with missio and VETO!, I am calling for his immediate release ,” said Dött. Last October, she handed the Vietnamese ambassador in Germany a letter signed by 73 parliamentarians from 14 countries, asking for the release of Nguyen Van Dai.
Petition by missio
Missio also initiates a petition for Nguyen Van Dai. “The courageous lawyer has defended Christians and other minorities in courts in Vietnam and fought for endangered human rights in his homeland. Now he himself needs support” said missio President Prelate Klaus Krämer.
If convicted Nguyen Van Dai faces 20 years of imprisonment. According to the Vietnamese Penal Code, he is accused of “propaganda against the Socialist Republic Vietnam”. The accusation is false and the law has been misused to curtail the human rights work of Nguyen Van Dai. He had already been imprisoned between 2007 and 2011, and then under house arrest until March 2015.
The Petition will be handed over to German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel
The current VETO! and missio petitions are addressed to Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the Prime Minister of Vietnam. It will be handed over to Sigmar Gabriel, the German Foreign Minister, asking himt to forward to the Vietnamese government. The petition not only calls for the freedom of Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thu Ha, but also for their unrestricted access to lawyers, families and necessary medical treatments.