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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid