Cablegate: Mfa Update On Some Detainees of Concern

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: MFA update on some detainees of concern

Ref: A. FBIS JPP20030109000137 B. HCMC 052
- C. 02 HANOI 3096

1. (SBU) In response to inquiry from poloff on January 28,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs International Organization
Department Senior Expert Hong Bich Lien provided updates on
the status of several prominent activists whose detentions
have sparked international and USG concern. She promised on
January 29 to provide further information about reported
detentions of three relatives and one associate of Father
Nguyen Van Ly.

2. (SBU) Pham Que Duong and Tran Van Khue: Ms. Lien
confirmed that Duong and Khue are under investigative
detention (refs b and C), without disclosing their current
location(s). She added that the investigation was for
"transmitting secret documents abroad" and for "receiving
money from outside (overseas) for their activities." A
January 9 Foreign Ministry public statement (ref a) had
confirmed that the two were under detention, but only
characterized them as "caught redhanded while carrying out
activities that seriously violate Vietnamese laws." Ms.
Lien stated categorically that Pham Que Duong's wife was
not/not under detention. She promised to check whether
anyone else had been detained along with Duong after poloff
noted a report that police had detained a third person, Ho
Thu, along with Duong and his wife (ref c).

3. (SBU) Pham Hong Son: Ms. Lien said that she believed
that Son's case had gone to the Procuracy, indicating that a
trial may take place soon after the Tet holidays. Poloff
cited reports about Son's difficulties in obtaining legal
representation. Ms. Lien agreed to send a note to the
Procuracy enquiring about his case, especially whether Son
has now been able to hire a lawyer.

4. (SBU) Nguyen Vu Binh: Ms. Lien had no information
about Binh, confessing that she was handling so many
inquiries that she had lost track of his case. She promised
to check with either the Ministry of Public Security or the
Procuracy about Binh's current status.

5. (SBU) Le Chi Quang: Embassy also asked MFA to check on
the status of Quang in prison, especially in regard to his
health, access to medical treatment, and prison conditions.

6. (SBU) Comment: MFA/IO's willingness to provide some
information is welcome, even if the news is not encouraging.
The apparent charges against Duong and Khue are especially
worrisome, as they suggest probable heavy sentences.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Myanmar: UN Condemns Escalating Violence In Deadliest Day Of Protests So Far

In response to the killing of at least 18 protesters demonstrating against Myanmar’s military coup, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Sunday together with the UN chief, strongly condemned the “escalating violence” and called for an immediate end to the use of force... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>

Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>