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

Italian Red Cross Chief: Don't Label Migrants 'Illegal'

Speaking at the United Nations headquarters in New York Wednesday Francesco Rocca says migrants are victims, not criminals More

US Intel Officials Cautious About New IS Threat

Threat, said to have been posted by alleged American member of Islamic State terror group, says Sunday’s attack in Texas ‘is only the beginning’ More

Eyes in Sky Monitor Weather, Predict Epidemics

Satellites track storms, population movements, ocean warming to predict disease conditions More

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.
Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailandi
X
May 05, 2015 5:50 PM
Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailand

Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Russia's 'Victory Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

ussia is preparing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, known since the Soviet era as “The Great Patriotic War,” with a massive parade on May 9th of military hardware and millions of medals handed out to veterans or their relatives. But critics say the Soviet-style display of power and nationalism overshadows tragic scars during and after the war that still influence politics and foreign policy, especially in the current Ukraine crisis.
Video

Video WWII Anniversary Brings Old Friends and New Worries

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has special significance, with Russia becoming more assertive in Ukraine and sending its military planes to the edges of western countries’ airspace. Changes in the geostrategic balance and the transatlantic relationship are felt across the continent, not least in German towns that have hosted U.S. military bases since the defeat of Nazi Germany. VOA’s Al Pessin visited Schweinfurt, Germany, where a large base closed last year.
Video

Video Abraham Lincoln Funeral Re-created for 150th Civil War Anniversary

Over the last four years, commemorative events to mark the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War have brought thousands of visitors to battlefields and historic landmarks across the country. As VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, the final event in the Civil War's sesquicentennial honors the final journey home of the slain American President, Abraham Lincoln.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

VOA Blogs