News / Asia

    Vietnam Shows No Sign of Releasing Political Prisoners

    FILE - Prominent blogger Dieu Cay remains in jail in Vietnam.
    FILE - Prominent blogger Dieu Cay remains in jail in Vietnam.
    VOA News

    Authorities in Vietnam have shown no signs they plan to release any political prisoners during the country's annual amnesty marking the nation’s independence day. 

    Several political and non-political prisoners are traditionally pardoned on or around September 2. But unlike previous years, Vietnamese state media has yet to announce the official number of detainees set to be released nationwide this year.

    Political prisoners typically make up a small percentage of those who receive amnesty. The majority are Vietnamese who were jailed for ordinary criminal offenses like theft. 

    Many activists had hoped prominent blogger Dieu Cay would be freed amid Vietnam’s efforts to join the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and its desire to be removed from the United States' lethal arms embargo list.

    Vietnam is regularly criticized by human rights groups and Western governments for its suppression of political dissent and treatment of religious groups.

    Dieu Cay's wife, Duong Thi Tan, told VOA's Vietnamese service that during a short monthly phone call last week, the blogger told his son that he'd dismissed authorities’ request that he write a petition seeking a pardon.

    "He rejected the request to write the petition for pardon because he did not violate laws," she said. "He said he was innocent so he did not ask for pardon. He said if he had to write, he would write a letter requesting to be released since he did not commit any wrongdoings."

    Doan Viet Hoat, Vietnam’s best-known dissident who was released in the 1998 amnesty, shared his own experiences and denounced Hanoi for using "tricks" to force political prisoners to "admit wrongdoings for pardon."

    "Since [my release], the Vietnamese government continues to use prisoners of conscience for trading in international relations," he said. "We totally protest the way Hanoi considers political prisoners as hostages to exchange for their own benefits.”

    The U.S. government has called on Vietnam to improve its human rights record as the two sides discuss Vietnam's efforts to join the TPP. Officials in Washington have said they are considering a move to lift the weapons ban on Hanoi. 

    You May Like

    Video Somali, AU Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    Somalia’s Western backers frustrated over country’s slow progress in establishing its armed forces to bring security after 25 years of chaos

    Israel Makes Push for Gaza Strip Recovery

    After years of economic blockade and attempts to disable Hamas, Israeli leaders eventually realized that Hamas’ downfall could lead to chaos or the rise of a more radical Jihadist group

    Slump in Chinese Tourists Hitting Hong Kong Retail

    Mainland Chinese account for up to three-quarters of visitors to Hong Kong, but that number is falling, and shopping centers are struggling to 'shift gears' and maintain sales

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: hung dungsangtrong from: usa
    September 05, 2014 12:29 AM
    Vietnam communist is a bad prostitute. This prostitute can sleep with USA or Japan at some points during the day when needed, but she must get back to her bad, betrayed husband, the Chinese every single nights regardless- keep this in mind when dealing with the communist Vietnam

    by: Tanny Lee from: USA
    September 04, 2014 10:52 PM
    Vietnam must release all of the Religion & political prisoners and deleted all rules and laws against human wright, as international requested years ago.
    Vietnam does not have human wright, religion freedom, so it’s harder for qualifying any international group.
    Not only release 1 prisoner for now and 1000 more prisoners are in line for future trading in international relations. We want long term, not short term.

    by: Bob from: USA
    September 04, 2014 9:28 AM
    Now tell me again -- why is the U.S. trading again with Vietnam? I thought we didn't trade with countries which fail to observe human rights..... And yeah, I was in Vietnam in the 60's!

    by: Tanny from: USA
    September 04, 2014 3:46 AM
    Vietnam needed to change its Ugly rules & Laws against human wright; Viet’s citizens will be forever in hell, Pham Binh Minh must reduce riff-off citizens and using prisoners for trading in international relations.
    If the government is doing the wright act, Viet’s government surely have confident to compromise with citizens.
    Volunteer a little each day; keep learning for improving the Country come first.
    What China is doing to you? Do you accept? What are the results?

    by: JUNKY from: USA
    September 03, 2014 10:12 PM
    Never trust Viet Cong.
    In Response

    by: Tranny from: USA
    September 04, 2014 11:04 AM
    Hey..hey...Never Trust Viet Cong was said first by former South Vietnam president Nguyen Van Thieu: Do not believe what VC said, pay attention to they did.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shababi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    April 28, 2016 4:20 PM
    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Town Receives Refugees but Lacks Resources

    A wave of refugees is pouring into the Kurdish town of Afrin in northern Syria as a result of fighting between rebel forces and Islamic State militants. VOA’s Amina Misto went to the town and reports local authorities are finding it difficult to cope with this influx of internally displaced people. Bronwyn Benito narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Build Human Tissue on Animal Matrix

    The question has always been, if a gecko can grow back its tail, why can't we regenerate our lost body parts? Well, maybe we can, someday. Scientists are moving towards the ability to rebuild fully functioning organs, and have made significant progress replacing muscles and other tissue.
    Video

    Video Containing Chernobyl Radiation Continues 30 Years After Explosion

    April 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Hundreds were killed following the explosion and it's estimated that thousands more have died from cancers caused by the radiation. Henry Ridgwell traveled to Chernobyl and reports for VOA on the continuing efforts to decommission the site -- and on the fledgling plans for a new future in the vast exclusion zone.
    Video

    Video Frustration Builds Among Refugees Trapped at Macedonian Border

    On the Greek border with Macedonia, 12,000 refugees continue to wait. Since the route to the rest of Europe was closed last month, the makeshift camp at Idomeni has seen protests and tear gas. But while those here wait, their frustration grows — as do reports of people attempting to find new ways of continuing their journey. John Owens reports from Idomeni.
    Video

    Video Researchers: Bees Help Kenyan Farmers Fend Off Elephants

    Elephant crop-raiding continues to be a major source of human-wildlife conflict in Kenya, so one elephant researcher is helping to alleviate the problem near Tsavo East National Park with beehive fences, which use elephants’ natural aversion to bees to deter them from farms. VOA’s Jill Craig visited the area ahead of this month's Giants Club Summit, which will bring together dignitaries at Mount Kenya to find solutions to combat poaching, the No. 1 threat to elephants.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora