October 10, 2010
To mark the 1000th anniversary of Hanoi (historically known as Thang Long), Viet Tan organized a peaceful demonstration in the capital city on the afternoon of October 9, 2010. A Viet Tan representative read out a statement declaring: “For the thousand-year love of Thang Long, Vietnamese must face down the Chinese threat.”
Participants, from within Vietnam and overseas, passed out fliers, t-shirts and hats affirming Vietnamese sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands. This civic action to raise public awareness is the latest effort by Viet Tan to promote Vietnamese national interests and advocate for social justice and democratic change through open and peaceful political activities.
Within the last 48 hours, the Vietnamese communist authorities responded to the public expression of concern over Chinese aggression by suppressing all news of the demonstration. Police confiscated materials that were distributed by Viet Tan and interrogated people who may have attended the event.
A member of Viet Tan who gave public statements at the demonstration—Mrs. Hong Vo, a 53 year-old social worker from Melbourne, Australia—was arrested in the evening of October 10, 2010.
We condemn the detention of Mrs. Hong Vo in addition to the recent arrests of other Viet Tan members—professor Pham Minh Hoang, pastor Duong Kim Khai, Mrs. Tran Thi Thuy and Mr. Nguyen Thanh Tam—for their peaceful expression and political advocacy.
Viet Tan believes that all Vietnamese have the right and responsibility to address the social and political changes facing the country. We urge the international community to pressure the Hanoi regime to abide by international human rights conventions and cease repressing peaceful political dissent.
Duy Hoang +1.202.470.0845