Advocacy letter

Vietnam: Arbitrary detention of Mr. Le Quoc Quan

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ARTICLE 19

29 Aug 2014

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H.E. Mr. Trương Tấn Sang
President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
02 Hung Vuong street, Ba Dinh district
Ha Noi
Viet Nam

H.E. Mr. Nguyễn Tấn Dũng
Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
01 Hoang Hoa Tham street, Ba Dinh district
Ha Noi
Viet Nam

Re: Arbitrary detention of Mr. Le Quoc Quan

Your Excellencies,

The signatory organizations request the release of Mr. Le Quoc Quan, a well-respected human rights lawyer and blogger.

Mr. Le Quoc Quan was arrested on 27 December 2012 on alleged charges of tax evasion. Following his arrest, he was held incommunicado and denied permission to see his lawyer for two months. Repeated requests by his family to visit him were also denied. Mr Quan first saw a family member at his trial on 2 October 2013, at which he was convicted of evading corporate income tax and sentenced to 30 months imprisonment and a fine of 1.2 billion dong (approximately USD 59,000).

In 2013, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention condemned Mr. Le Quoc Quan’s detention as violating his right to freedom of expression and his right to a fair trial.  It found that Mr. Le Quoc Quan had been targeted for his work as an activist and as a blogger and called for his immediate release or for his conviction to be reviewed by an independent court. It also recommended that Viet Nam pay damages to Mr. Le Quoc Quan for his arbitrary detention.

The government of Viet Nam has not responded to this decision. On 18 February 2014, the Court of Appeal in Hanoi upheld Mr. Le Quoc Quan’s conviction. The decision of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was not taken into account.

In view of the upcoming Viet Nam National Day, on September 2, 2014, we once more urge the authorities of Viet Nam to comply with the decision of the United Nations Working Group and to release Mr. Le Quoc Quan immediately and unconditionally.

We thank you for your attention to this matter.

A copy of this letter is being sent to the President of the United States and to the representative of the European Union in Hanoi.

Yours sincerely,

Amnesty International USA

Leila Chacko

Viet Nam Country Specialist

leilachacko@gmail.com

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC)

Gail Davidson

Executive Director

lrwc@portal.ca

Media Defence – Southeast Asia (MDSEA)

HR Dipendra

Director

dipendra3000@gmail.com

ARTICLE 19

Thomas Hughes

Executive Director

info@article19.org

Center for International Law (Centerlaw), Philippines

H. Harry L. Roque, Jr.

Chairperson

hroque@roquebutuyan.com

Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI)

Nani Jansen

Legal Director

nani.jansen@mediadefence.org

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Eva Galperin

Global Policy Analyst

eva@eff.org

National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

Sally Blair

Senior Director, Fellowship Programs

sallyb@ned.org

English PEN

Cat Lucas

Writers at Risk Programme Manager

cat@englishpen.org

Reporters Without Borders

Benjamin Ismaïl

Head of Asia-Pacific Desk

asia@rsf.org

Front Line Defenders

Mary Lawlor

Executive Director

mary@frontlinedefenders.org

Réseau Avocats Sans Frontières / ASF Network

Anne Lutun

ASF Network Coordinator

coordination@asf-network.com

Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L)

Adrie van de Streek

Executive Director

info@lawyersforlawyers.nl

World Movement for Democracy

Art Kaufman

Senior Director

artk@ned.org

 

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