Target: President Truong Tan Sang
Goal: Release Vietnamese blogger Pham Viet Dao, who was charged with “abusing democratic freedoms”
The Vietnamese government should immediately and unconditionally drop charges against blogger Pham Viet Dao. Mr. Dao was arrested on in late 2013 on the charge of “abusing democratic freedoms.” He is scheduled to face trial next month for this charge in Hanoi. Mr. Dao’s trial marks the third such trial of an Internet blogger in Vietnam since the middle of last year. This is a disturbing trend of restricting freedom of speech in Vietnam, and the authorities must show the international community their intention to protect human rights.
Pham Viet Dao is a former culture ministry official and a prominent figure in Vietnam’s social media community as he often uses those platforms to critique the Vietnamese government. In particular, Mr. Dao has been extremely harsh on the one-party system that exists in Vietnam. After his arrest, the government blocked all traffic to his website. The Communist party controls most of what Vietnamese people can see on the Internet, and do so by arresting those spreading messages of dissent.
Convicting Pham Viet Dao will only damage the reputation of the Vietnamese government further. Instead of doing all that they can to suppress human rights, they should respect their international human rights obligations in order to advance the growth of their country. Sign this petition to demand that the Vietnamese government does not send Pham Viet Dao to prison for practicing his right to the freedom of speech.
Dear President Truong Tan Sang,
The arrest of prominent blogger and political activist Pham Viet Dao is extremely concerning. Your government has a long history of detaining those who practice this basic human right, and by convicting Mr. Dao your government will continue to neglect its international obligation to protect human rights. A conviction would also slow the cultural and economic growth of your country.
I ask that you immediately and unconditionally release Pham Viet Dao before your government shows the world, once again, your attitude towards respecting your international commitments. I ask that you begin to respect the right of your people to search for information that they want to research. This is a basic human right that will help grow your country in positive ways.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Carlosar via Wikimedia Commons