News / Asia

China Rights Group Honors Prominent Jailed Vietnamese Writer

FILE - Six democracy activists stand at dock in Hai Phong City's People's Court in Hai Phong, about 100 kilometers east of Hanoi, Oct. 2009. From L-R: Nguyen Van Tuc, Nguyen Van Tinh, Nguyen Manh Son, Nguyen Kim Nhan, Nguyen Xuan Nghia (2nd R), Ngo Quynh.
FILE - Six democracy activists stand at dock in Hai Phong City's People's Court in Hai Phong, about 100 kilometers east of Hanoi, Oct. 2009. From L-R: Nguyen Van Tuc, Nguyen Van Tinh, Nguyen Manh Son, Nguyen Kim Nhan, Nguyen Xuan Nghia (2nd R), Ngo Quynh.
A Chinese media rights group has granted an award to a prominent Vietnamese writer detained in Vietnam since 2008 on charges of subverting the ruling Communist Party.

The Sweden-based Independent Chinese PEN Center [ICPC] said it decided to honor Nguyen Xuan Nghia with its 2013 'Liu Xiaobo Courage to Write Award' which is named after Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

In a statement issued this week, ICPC also named a second honoree for the award, Chinese environmentalist and writer Tan Zuoren, detained in China since 2009.

Nguyen Xuan Nghia is a Vietnamese poet, journalist and novelist and a founding member of a banned democracy movement known as Bloc 8406. Vietnamese authorities arrested him in 2008 and later convicted him of violating laws against spreading anti-Communist propaganda and undermining national security.

Nguyen Xuan Nghia was sentenced to six years in prison in 2009.

Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang has defended his record on human rights, saying his government has made "sustained efforts to protect and promote" them. He made the comment in a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in July.

ICPC said Nguyen Xuan Nghia's family tried to visit him in Ha Dong province last year, but discovered that he had been moved to a prison more than 400 kilometers from his home, near the border with Laos. It said his wife Nguyen Thi Nga also learned that he was suffering health problems and had contemplated suicide.

Nguyen Thi Nga, wife of jailed Vietnamese writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia. Photo: Nguyen Thi Nga, date unknownNguyen Thi Nga, wife of jailed Vietnamese writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia. Photo: Nguyen Thi Nga, date unknown
x
Nguyen Thi Nga, wife of jailed Vietnamese writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia. Photo: Nguyen Thi Nga, date unknown
Nguyen Thi Nga, wife of jailed Vietnamese writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia. Photo: Nguyen Thi Nga, date unknown
Speaking to VOA by phone, Nguyen Thi Nga welcomed the Chinese media rights group's recognition of her husband. "We are very glad and proud to learn that Nghia is granted an international award named after Liu Xiaobo, a courageous writer recognized by the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. This has helped to confirm that the path my husband has been pursuing for a multi-party, democratic Vietnam is legitimate," she said.

Nguyen Thi Nga said Vietnamese authorities transferred her husband to the distant prison in central Vietnam in retaliation for him leaking news that a fellow inmate and blogger was on a hunger strike. ICPC said the blogger, Nguyen Van Hai, also known as Dieu Cay, went on a hunger strike to protest adverse prison conditions.

ICPC is an affiliate of International PEN, a global association of writers dedicated to freedom of expression and the defense of writers suffering governmental repression.

Last year, ICPC granted the Liu Xiaobo award to ethnic Tibetan writer Dolma Kyab and Chinese writer and rights activist Wu Yilong, both of whom have been jailed in China in recent years.

Liu was detained in 2008 when he co-authored Charter 08, a declaration calling for political reform, greater human rights and an end to one-party rule in China. A court sentenced him to 11 years in prison in 2009 for "subversion" of China's Communist leadership.

Liu has been unable to collect his Nobel Peace Prize because of his detention.

Tra Mi of VOA's Vietnamese service contributed to this report.

Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs