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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid