Cablegate: Criticism Lands Two More in Jail

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

1. (U) The Vinh Phuc provincial public security department
confirmed media reports (initially in the June 17 "Tien
Phong" newspaper) of the arrest of Tran Van Luong and Nguyen
Minh Hoan on charges of writing and distributing documents
that "distorted the economic policies" of the government and
"slandered leaders of the party, government, and central
bodies." They reportedly had sent these documents to the
Office of the National Assembly, Vietnam Fatherland Front,
and provincial authorities. Police confiscated more than
ten kilograms of additional documents that had not yet been

2. (U) Luong was described as the retired director of the
Center for Applied Physics of the Vietnam Institute for
Sciences and Technologies in Hanoi, while Hoan was said to
be a retired nurse from the Viet Bac military region. Both
apparently signed their criticisms as "veterans."

3. (U) Comment: While the exact contents of these
documents, as well as the purpose of the two authors, remain
unknown to us, nothing in the media accounts suggested any
effort to incite violence or overthrow the Communist regime.
This appears to be another case of the GVN's and CPV's
hypersensitivity to criticism, leading to the arrest of
citizens who have done no more than exercise their
Constitutional right of freedom of speech. Embassy will add
their names to our list of prisoners of concern (for use by
DRL Assistant Craner in his visit here later this year) and
will also include this unfortunate development in the draft
Human Rights Country Report for 2004.

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