Target: Nugyen Phoung Uyen
Goal: Commend Vietnamese dissident for exercising her rights despite Vietnam’s one party law
Vietnamese dissident Nugyen Uyen, age 21, was sentenced to prison for handing out leaflets that were considered hostile and contradictory to the Communist ruling party. She was released 10 months into her sentence but is on a three year suspended sentence. Vietnam who imposes a one party only government, does not tolerate any other system and prosecutes those who express different beliefs.
Despite threats of imprisonment and laws prohibiting freedom of speech, Uyen intends to fight for a multiparty democracy. She is hopeful that things will change, since the widespread use of the internet has instigated conversation about the nation’s government and politics. Despite sentencing many bloggers, activists and democrats to prison, many still spread their ideas and opinions. The internet has allowed Vietnamese citizens to glean information that the government previously kept away from the public. Uyen states that she wants the younger generation to know about their rights despite living under such an oppressive environment.
During her imprisonment, Uyen was kept in a darkened room for the first period of her captivity. She was given water contaminated by rat droppings, and meat or fish four days per month instead of the required eight. The dissident was freed due to meetings between President Barack Obama and President of Vietnam Truong Tan Sang. During the meetings, Obama urged Sang to seriously consider human rights and improve upon those conditions. Uyen hopes that the Communist nation will also free her brother Dinh Nguyen Kha, who was arrested alongside her. His sentence has only been halved. She strongly believes that the people have a right to choose which organization can run their country and the government shouldn’t be allowed to choose for them.
This brave woman deserves to be commended for her actions. There are many others like her in Vietnam, but they are unfortunately silenced. Many spend years rotting in jail cells, tormented by guards and eating contaminated food. Uyen is the first to be released after committing a national crime and hopefully there will be others. Freedom of speech should never be denied, nor should it be punished. Sign this petition and urge Uyen to keep fighting and speaking up.
Dear Nugyen Phoung Uyen,
I am writing to commend you for your bravery and efforts towards seeing a multiparty government in Vietnam. The crime that you were charged for would have been ridiculous in the United States and I hope that one day the government will see it as such. Despite your imprisonment, you’ve stated that you will continue to strive towards your goal. You wish for the younger generation to know about their rights and freedoms despite an oppressive government.
People like you are what forces change into their society and government. It is critically important that every country has people like you who are courageous and determined to see change. I wish you the best of luck and I hope that your brother will be freed as well. You are right, the people should be the ones who choose the government, the government should not be doing the choosing for them. Please continue with your efforts and continue using your voice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Victoria via wikimedia