“We request the immediate and unconditional release of de Nguyen Tien Trung. The accusations made against him are a total fabrication,” says the press freedom organization.
A press release from Jean-Francois Julliard, secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders, echoed these sentiments for Trung and more than 10,000 other detainees, which include 3 journalist and 17 bloggers. Julliard states: “Today, Vietnam is the country with the second highest number of Netizens in prison, after China…. However, in several of its provisions the Vietnamese constitution guarantees human rights and freedom of expression.”
Nguyen Tien Trung was arrested in Ho Chi Minh City on July 7, 2009, charged by police with anti-state propaganda. But according to Reporters Without Borders, “Nguyen Tien Trung has never been a danger to the Vietnamese state. He merely expressed himself freely, a right guaranteed by the constitution. The authorities want to make an example of him and intimidate Vietnamese students who return home after studying abroad and demand greater freedom.”
Trung’s trial was held on January 20, 2009 and lasted a mere day, during which no witnesses were allowed and all media representatives seeking coverage of the event were forced to wait beyond the gates of the courthouse. He was sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment and 3 years under house arrest.
Phillippe Echard, Trung’s former professor during a study-abroad session in France, expressed his concern over the case, “It’s a strange thing as an educator to imagine that a student one has taught, with whom one has had discussions, and to whom one has most probably paid particular attention since he is a foreigner, is today in prison in his own country at the other end of the world and facing serious charges…”
For the letter of Reporter Without Border sent to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, please visit:
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