Dieu Cay Landed in Los Angeles This Week

Nguyen Van Hai arrives in LADieu Cay, Vietnam’s famous human rights/democracy activist and prominent political blogger, was released from Vietnamese prison earlier this week and immediately deported from the communist country. The renowned blogger, whose real name is Nguyen Van Hai, arrived at a Los Angeles airport midday Tuesday, October 21, 2014, to a large and adoring crowd of supporters.

The news of Dieu Cay’s release came as a shock to all observers outside of Vietnam. The Vietnamese government kept his release a secret, with his deportation from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam also being carried out in a covert manner. Upon his release, Dieu Cay did not even get a chance to say farewell to his family or friends. Instead, he was immediately vacated from Vietnam, quickly put on a flight to Hong Kong, before finally arriving in the U.S. on Tuesday. Dieu Cay’s final destination is Canada.

Dieu Cay 2008Dieu Cay was arrested by Vietnamese authorities back in 2008 during the Summer Olympics for protesting against China’s conduct in the seas, as well as the PRC’s occupation of Tibet. In 2012, the Vietnamese Communist Party sentenced him to 12 years in prison for spreading “anti-state propaganda,” which, as we all know, apparently includes any statement that is deemed offensive to China as well. The sentencing was one of the harshest for cases of this kind, which is partly why news of his release and deportation came as such a huge surprise to the public abroad.

While in prison, Dieu Cay subjected himself to agonizing hunger strikes on two separate occasions in protest of the Vietnamese government and the aggression of the Chinese. His health deteriorated drastically as a result of his time in prison, creating a public relations nightmare for the Vietnamese government, who is well known throughout the international community as an abuser nation that does not abide by the rule of law.

Vietnam has long been criticized for its atrocious human rights record, a mark that the communist nation has tried to dispute on numerous occasions, but always failing to deliver. Dieu Cay’s release can be viewed here as another attempt by Vietnam to try to improve its image in the eyes of the world. As it stands, the nation’s human rights record is still detestable, and the situation on the ground shows no sign of actually getting better.

Nguyen Van Hai, Oct. 21, 2014For now, one can rejoice and welcome the arrival of one of Vietnam’s most vocal human rights champions. I imagine this is only the beginning of his new chapter here in the west. However, only time will tell how significant this new chapter will be.

Photos of Dieu Cay’s arrival in Los Angeles via ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

2 Responses to “Dieu Cay Landed in Los Angeles This Week”

  1. Lily Tran-Bui Says:

    Chuc mung anh thoat khoi gong cum cong san va da den duoc ben bo tu do !! Toi nguong mo anh mot nguoi that la kien cuong ,bat khuat truoc mot bay lang soi de dang nuot chung anh bat cu luc nao… vay ma anh van giu duoc lap truong cua minh, hien ngang truoc phong ba bao tap khien bon tay sai Bac kinh phai chao thua … Co giu gin suc khoe va tiep tuc voi nhung gi anh da theo duoi anh nhe . The he tre se noi theo tam guong ngoi sang cua anh…. va hy vong mot ngay khong xa VietNam ta se co tu do ,dan chu ,nhan quyen va moi nguoi con dan Viet chung ta se duoc com no , ao am va dat nuoc chung ta se sanh vai cung khap nam chau va se thoat khoi cai nhuc… tut hau nay … Chuc suc khoe anh….

  2. Thank you for this post. I have been wanting to read this story but my Vietnamese is not really proficient to understand the articles in SBTN or BBC Vietnamese. Sad to see this can happen in modern time. Hope he will be able to reunite with his family.

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