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Cablegate: Cg Pushes Party for Release of Dissident Bui Kim Thanh

VZCZCXRO7113
RR RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHHM #0684 1781234
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271234Z JUN 07
FM AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2805
INFO RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 2000
RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 3006

UNCLAS HO CHI MINH CITY 000684

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM PINR VM
SUBJECT: CG PUSHES PARTY FOR RELEASE OF DISSIDENT BUI KIM THANH

REF: HCMC 625 AND PREVIOUS

1. (SBU) On June 26, we spoke with the Director of the Bien Hoa
Mental Institution, Nguyen Van Tho, to continue to follow up on
the case of land rights activist Bui Kim Thanh. (Thanh was
involuntarily admitted to the mental institution in November
2006.) The Director confirmed reftel reporting that it had sent
a formal proposal to the HCMC Prosecutor's office to reexamine
Bui Kim Thanh as a prelude to possible release. However, to
date, the HCMC Prosecutor's office has yet to respond. The
Prosecutor's office, which is responsible for her incarceration
in the mental institution, must also authorize reexamination.

2. (SBU) On June 27, the Consul General raised the case of Bui
Kim Thanh during a farewell call with HCMC Party Secretary and
Politburo member Le Thanh Hai. Noting continued USG concern,
the Consul General said that it would be a helpful sign of
progress and goodwill following the visit of President Nguyen
Minh Triet to the United States were the Prosecutor's Office to
act quickly and Thanh released.

3. (SBU) Secretary Hai appeared to be well-briefed on the case.
He noted that it is an "internal Vietnamese matter," but that
had worked constructively with the Consul General on cases
involving U.S. citizens arrested for political activity in
Vietnam. (Note: Hai was referring to his discussions with the
Consul General over the fates of two U.S. citizens -- Do Cong
Thanh and Thong Nguyen Cuc Foshee -- who were imprisoned for
anti-GVN activities and were released in the summer of 2006.)
He closed discussion on Bui Kim Thanh by observing that, "I
think we can have rational resolutions for problem cases."

WINNICK

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