Target: Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang
Goal: End all charges against online activist Dinh Nhat Uy, and ensure that he is not sent to jail for stating his opinions about the government.
Internet activist Dinh Nhat Uy has been arrested by Vietnamese authorities, on the charge of “abusing his democratic freedoms.” As a nation that is vying for a seat at the United Nations, it is hypocritical of Vietnam to arrest a citizen for stating his views and opinions.
A penal code in Vietnam’s legal system allows authorities to prosecute citizens who are peacefully expressing their rights. Dinh Nhat Uy turned to Facebook to campaign for his younger brother’s release from jail, and has also made commentary about the politics surrounding Vietnam’s government. Vietnam’ constitution loosely describes human rights, but also describes in great detail the amount of power the Communist Party has. The nation is looking for a seat in the United Nations, however actions like these suggest that Vietnam has no interest in the livelihoods of its people.
Dinh Nhat’s family has been targeted by the Vietnamese government for their activism. Dinh Nhat’s brother was arrested for handing out leaflets, and sentenced to prison for eight years. The sentence was shortened to four years after a court appeal. Authorities have routinely detained and imprisoned other activists like Dinh Nhat because they, according to the government, “abuse the rights to freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of belief, religion, assembly, association, and other democratic freedoms.” The commentary posted on Dinh Nhat’s Facebook page were deemed by the government to be “bad and false information.” It included evaluations of Vietnam’s leaders, reports on organization activities, and criticism of the government’s lack of concern towards human rights.
If Dinh Nhat is convicted – which is highly likely considering his brother is in prison for handing out leaflets – he could face up to three years in prison. No person should be sent to prison for expressing their views. The idea that someone could be punished for abusing their rights is preposterous. Sign this petition and set Dinh Nhat free.
Dear President Truong Tan Sang,
I am writing this letter about the case of Dinh Nhat Uy and the charges against him set forth by your government. I do not believe it is right to imprison him because he wants his younger brother released from jail. I also do not believe it is right or just to imprison him because he expressed his views about the government. You say that your citizens have inherent rights, and yet your country allows officials to imprison dissidents when they “abuse” these rights. Posting about a campaign and critiquing the government should not be seen as an abuse of rights. Your people were given these rights as a means of voicing their discontent; your government is stripping this away from them.
It is ridiculous that your government is targeting this family. They have done nothing wrong. They have not harmed or killed anyone, merely spoke their opinions and discontent. I urge you to drop all charges against Dinh Nhat Uy and release him from custody.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Luu Ly via Wikimedia