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Cablegate: Letter to President Bush From Wife of Jailed Dissident

VZCZCXRO2670
OO RUEHHM
DE RUEHHI #1144 1730358
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 220358Z JUN 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5701
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 3279
RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS HANOI 001144

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS AND DRL/AWH

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM KIRF HUMANR PGOV PREL VM
SUBJECT: LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH FROM WIFE OF JAILED DISSIDENT
NGUYEN VAN DAI

REF: (A) HANOI 0752 (B) HANOI 0839 (C) HANOI 0872

1. (SBU) Summary and Background. On June 20, Post received a letter
addressed to President Bush from Vu Minh Khanh, wife of jailed
dissident Nguyen Van Dai. In the letter, Khanh asks the President
to intervene on her husband's behalf during his June 22 meeting with
Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet. On May 11, the GVN tried
and sentenced Dai, a controversial human rights lawyer, Protestant
pastor and State Department International Visitor Program alumnus,
to five years in prison for "conducting propaganda against the
Socialist Republic of Vietnam." (Reftels) Since Dai's
imprisonment, Khanh has expressed concern about her husband's prison
conditions, including inadequate food, failure to provide needed
medicine and refusal to allow him a Bible. End Summary and
Background.

2. (SBU) Begin text of letter to President Bush:

The Honorable George W. Bush
President, United States of America
The White House

Dear President Bush,

From the media, I have learned that you will soon welcome Mr. Nguyen
Minh Triet, President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. A
number of observers in Vietnam informed me that Mr. Nguyen Minh
Triet is a Vietnamese leader with relatively open mind. Therefore,
I am asking you to make a special appeal to Mr. Triet for the early
release of my husband.

My husband, lawyer Nguyen Van Dai, is symbolic of the young
generation of Vietnamese, born and growing up under Communism, who
have courageously stood up for the cause of democracy and human
rights. My husband has engaged himself in this cause at his own
risk because he cannot ignore the social injustices and human rights
violations surrounding him. My husband has contacted Western
embassies to seek support for his ideas; this includes the US
Embassy, in issues relating to the government's oppression of
Protestants. My husband was invited by the US Department of State
to participate in its "Grassroots Activism in the USA" program in
January-February 2006. For these reasons, the government arrested
him and sentenced him on May 11 to 5 years imprisonment and 4 years
probation.

In my analysis, his arrest and sentence was meant as a message of
threat sent to other Vietnamese, especially the generation that was
born after the war, who are engaged in the fight for justice and
democracy in Vietnam. Immediately after his arrest, the
government-controlled media continuously propagated news and reports
with the purpose of defaming my husband and isolating our family
socially. At a time where we need their moral support and help, our
relatives and friends, and his colleagues in the law profession
hesitate to contact us due to the perceived threat from the
government. In the pre-trial period, government agencies
intentionally violated, rather blatantly, Vietnam's penal codes,
making it impossible for my husband to defend his legal rights. The
court trial was not conducted in public and was in violation of all
the international basic principles of due process. With such
evident violations, the government intended to show to the people
that it could arbitrarily decide on the fate of all citizens,
including those with ties to US diplomats in Hanoi like my husband,
in total disregard of public opinion, domestic and overseas.

I therefore plead with you, the President of the United States, to
intervene on behalf of my husband. If thanks to your intervention
my husband is released, then the Vietnamese people will understand
that those who fight for democracy and human rights in Vietnam are
not alone and have the protection of the international community in
this struggle for justice. Otherwise, the Vietnamese government
will be encouraged in their policy of oppression.

I am confident that you and your administration will find an
appropriate way to save and free my husband.

May God bless your dialogue with President Nguyen Minh Triet.

Vu Minh Khanh

End text of letter.

ALOISI

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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