29 May 2016
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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 06/28/2013, 00.00

    VIETNAM

    Catholic lawyer in jail on false charges prays and fasts before his trial



    Hunger strike is increasingly becoming a tool of civic protest against prison conditions and illegal arrests. Le Quoc Quan goes to court on 9 July on 'tax evasion' charges. For activists, this is a ploy the authorities used to imprison him. Barred from his profession, he has continued the fight for rights on his blog.

    Hanoi (AsiaNews/EDA) - For Vietnam's political prisoners and its prisoners of conscience, hunger strike has become the most powerful tool in the fight against abuse in prison and unjust sentences imposed by Communist authorities.

    After Cu Huy Ha Vu, an activist who has not touched food for 27 days, and Paul Tran Minh Nhât, a Catholic who stopped eating to protest prison conditions, another Catholic, a lawyer by profession, has decided not to eat for the next week. Le Quoc Quan's reasons for his extreme protest are different. His goal is to fast, pray and meditate in order to prepare himself for his trial on 9 July.

    Le Quoc Quan, 42, is a Catholic lawyer and a political prisoner. He has decided to fast and pray in the next few days to prepare himself, body and mind, to meet tax evasion charges levied against him under Article 161 of Vietnam's Penal Code.

    After he was arrested taking his children to school in Hanoi, Le Quoc was sent to Hoa Lo Prison No. 1.  For a long time, neither his lawyer nor his family were able to see him.

    The charge against him is a ploy frequently used by the Communist Party to imprison or silence its detractors, activists said in recent weeks. If convicted, he could get up to "three years in prison, plus a hefty fine."

    Le Quoc Quan has not been able to practice as a lawyer for some time, and has been expelled from the country's bar association. Since then, he has devoted all his time to defending human rights by action and on his blog.

    A Catholic in a predominantly Buddhist nation, he was repeatedly arrested and beaten by police and the authorities for his campaigns in defence human rights and religious freedom.

    In 2007, he was jailed for "Carrying out activities aimed at [. . .] subverting the government of the people" (Article 79 of the Criminal Code). Eventually, he was released following protests from the United States.

    Quan's arrest is part of a campaign undertaken by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last September to stop online blogs and other sites from criticising and exposing widespread corruption among party members and government officials who got rich during the recent financial crisis.

    According to Human Rights Watch, at least 40 bloggers, dissidents and activists were convicted last year in Vietnam. They include at least 18 accused of "Conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam» in violation of Article 88 of the Criminal Code, an infamous legal tool used by the authorities to suppress activism and dissent.

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    See also

    05/01/2013 VIETNAM
    Vietnam, arrested Catholic activist on hunger strike
    Le Quoc Quan, well known lawyer and blogger has refused food for four days. His state of health unknown. Family and lawyers not allowed to see him. He is accused of tax evasion, the lastest government "ploy” to silence the voices of dissent in the country.

    09/06/2015 VIETNAM
    Vietnamese Catholic activist on hunger strike in protest against prison abuse
    Maria Ta Phong Tan, who was sentenced in 2012 to 10 years for "anti-government propaganda", has refused food for three weeks. The woman denounces "mistreatment" of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in the Vietnamese prisons. Family members fear for her health. In the past, she was ridiculed by the other prisoners following her mother’s self-immolation.

    07/11/2012 VIETNAM
    Vietnamese Catholics and non-Catholics pray for civil rights and religious freedom
    In recent weeks government repression has increased, with arrests and detentions for "propaganda against the State". At least 2,500 people, even non-Catholics, take part in a special mass in the former Saigon "for peace and justice"; a united movement in defence of human dignity.

    26/06/2014 VIETNAM
    Vietnam upholds 2-year jail term against blogger

    The 50 year-old Duy Nhat Truong was charged with "abusing democratic freedoms." He had criticized the Prime Minister and the leader of the Communist Party. Court tried to block the activist and his lawyer defensive pleading. Hanoi against internal dissidence.


    28/08/2015 VIETNAM
    Hanoi frees two Catholic activists, four years in jail for "anti-government activities"
    Tran Nhat Minh and Thai Van Dung are released from prison after serving the full terms of the sentence. In prison they were pressured to sign a "confession". Equality, justice and love are the basis of "progress" and "civilization" of a society.



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