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Cablegate: Vietnam in-Country Priority One Referral Committee

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

091005Z Jun 05

ACTION PRM-00

INFO LOG-00 A-00 EAP-00 UTED-00 TEDE-00 SAS-00 /000W
------------------FDCCFB 092237Z /62
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7975
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY

UNCLAS HANOI 001376

SIPDIS


SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR EAP/BCLTV AND PRM/A

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF VM
SUBJECT: VIETNAM IN-COUNTRY PRIORITY ONE REFERRAL COMMITTEE


- SUMMARY OF PENDING REFERRALS

REF: A) HCMC 0293; B) HCMC 0086

1. (SBU) Summary: The Vietnam in-country Priority One
referral committee met on May 17 and May 20 to review 13
pending referrals for possible resettlement in the United
States. Eight were submitted by the U.S. NGO Boat People
S.O.S. (BPSOS) and forwarded to Post by PRM. Hoi Trinh, an
Australian lawyer associated with the Philippine Vietnamese
long-stayer resettlement effort, submitted two cases by e-
mail. Three are "self-nominated" cases that approached the
Consulate General for consideration. The referral committee
believes that one case merits referral to PRM for
authorization to process as a Priority One case (septel).
Five cases may merit eventual referral, but because the
information may be dated, ConGen staff is investigating to
see if persecution has occurred in the past 36 months. The
remaining seven cases were found not to rise to the
threshold of persecution needed to establish a Priority One
claim. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Case to be referred to PRM for authorization to
process:

Nguyen Trung Tuan Quoc:

Hoi Trinh initially nominated this case on April 11, 2005,
providing only the name and a statement that he was "in
hiding." Embassy Hanoi Political Section provided more
specific information. Mr. Quoc was a young activist who
distributed leaflets, then fled to Cambodia and was
initially granted "person of concern" status by UNHCR in
Phnom Penh. UNHCR was considering his case when he was
reportedly arrested and deported back to Vietnam.
Australian activists later reported him held in prison.
UNHCR Hanoi acknowledged that the Phnom Penh office had
talked with him and that he later disappeared. UNHCR Hanoi
followed up and informed Embassy that he may have been
arrested for other illegal activities. However, GVN
informed Embassy on February 18, 2005 that he was not in
prison. Post will send a nomination for Nguyen Trung Tuan
Quoc by septel.

3. (SBU) Cases to be investigated further for evidence of
recent persecution:

A. Trinh Van Men, Quan Bich Nga:

These are two pending referrals submitted to PRM by Boat
People SOS (BPSOS) in 2004 for a husband/wife pair. The
information contained in the BPSOS referral was unclear and
apparently out of date. Allegations of denial of family
registration, denial of employment and denial of schooling
for a 23-year-old child seem based on information well over
three years old. ConGenOff met with this couple on June 3
to obtain updated information, but ConGen HCMC still needs
to conduct additional follow up and verification. Following
this, the referral committee will update its case
information and make a decision on referral.

B. Le Van Hai:

This is the first of three BPSOS referrals ConGen received
in December 2004. The information appears to be based on
events that occurred more than three years ago. Although
BPSOS indicates that Mr. Hai served five years in a re-
education camp from 1975-1980 and was imprisoned from 1985-
2000 for "attempting to overthrow the government," there is
no indication of persecution in the past three years. We
believe that this case may be most appropriate for the
Humanitarian Resettlement process when it opens for new
applications in September 2005, since it appears that Mr.
Hai was unable to apply for the HO program prior to
September 30, 1994, through no fault of his own. However,
we will continue to investigate for evidence of more recent
or ongoing persecution.

C. Ho Van Trong:

A Hoa Hao Buddhist follower from An Giang Province who
submitted a "petition for resettlement" to ConGen HCMC on
March 26, 2005, Mr. Trong claims he was arrested in 2000,
beaten and then imprisoned for four years for trying to
exercise his faith. He alleges that the police still
question him, that arsonists burned his house

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