Archive for Dieu Cay

Dieu Cay Landed in Los Angeles This Week

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , on October 26, 2014 by Ian Pham

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

Viet Khang’s Verdict

Posted in Democracy Activists, Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2012 by Ian Pham

Alright, so a little over a week ago (October 30… Sorry we took a while), the Communist Party delivered their verdict on Viet Khang’s trial.  After a half-day of rigorous show-trialling, the Communist Party, Viet Khang was sentenced to four years in prison and a supposed two years of house arrest.

On trial with Viet Khang is fellow musician/songwriter Hoang Nhat Thong (his real name is Tran Vu Anh Binh), who is also sentenced to a harsh prison term of six years in prison.  Mr. Tran Vu Anh Binh wrote a song in honor of the democracy activist Dieu Cay, titled “Nguc Toi Hien Ngang”, or “Courage in the Dark prison”.

Viet Khang’s verdict is somewhat lighter than I expected (though it is still extremely harsh) when comparing to other democracy activists (Dieu Cay got 12 years).  This may or may not be due to the international attention given to Viet Khang’s case, and there was a lot of attention from the Vietnamese community around the world regarding Viet Khang.

It is not yet clear what the situation in Vietnam is like now that a sentence has been placed on Viet Khang.  What I am sure of however is that the arrests and unfair treatment of innocent people will continue.  It’s a long and arduous process but there is really no way the Party can ever regain their legitimacy.  They have demeaned themselves, the country, and the people of Vietnam for so long, it is no longer a tangible task for them to gain any respect from their people, the world, or each other.

A coward can only hide his cowardice for so long, and even then, he cannot fool himself into having courage.  As far as the Communist Party is concerned, they are surviving off borrowed time.  They can keep suppressing, they can keep censoring, and they can keep pretending they aren’t Chinese dogs.  However, they cannot wipe the blood off their hands, and they will never again look valiant and righteous in the eyes of their people.  Even the great regimes don’t last forever, and the Communists are definitely not the greats.

Obama Mentions Vietnam Dissident in May 3rd Statement

Posted in Democracy Activists, Politics with tags , , , , , , on June 8, 2012 by Ian Pham

Over one month ago, on May 3, 2012, a world celebration known as World Press Freedom Day was held in Carthage, Tunisia.  Many world leaders delivered messages of celebration and commemoration that day, including President Barack Obama.  The President included many prominent names in his statements.  One of which was Dieu Cay, a well known democracy activist imprisoned by the Vietnamese government since 2008.

In the words of President Obama,

“As we condemn recent detentions of journalists like Mazen Darwish, a leading proponent of free speech in Syria, and call for their immediate release, we must not forget others like blogger Dieu Cay, whose 2008 arrest coincided with a mass crackdown on citizen journalism in Vietnam, or journalist Dawit Isaak who has been held incommunicado by the Eritrean government for over a decade without formal charge or trial.”

Dieu Cay is the pen name for Vietnamese blogger and freedom activist Nguyen Van Hai.  He has been detained by the Communist government in Vietnam since 2008 for protesting China’s actions in Tibet, the Spratly Islands, and criticizing the country’s Olympic torch relay.  Idiotically, yet unsurprisingly, the Vietnamese government imprisoned Dieu Cay under the charges “tax evasion”, which is bogus to say the least.

Following his release in 2010, Dieu Cay continued to express his opinions on his blog, before being harassed and imprisoned by the Communist Police once again.  To this day, blogger Nguyen “Dieu Cay” Van Hai is still serving time in Vietnamese jail for charges of “conducting propaganda against the state”.  He is currently facing a possible 20 years in prison, unless he pleads guilty to the bogus charges and concedes to the Communists.  International pressure on the Vietnamese government may help reduce this sentence, as Dieu Cay refuses to plead guilty.

It is a wonder what caught the attention of President Obama to Vietnam’s current human rights situation.  Though it is true that he was aware of the matter, he had yet to publicly speak out in defense of a single dissident, until May 3, that is.  One very viable possibility, is the recent surge of information and momentum made possible by Mr. Truc Ho, the White House petition, and the music of Viet Khang.

We have said in the past that the president listens, now we know that he listens.  Not only does the president listen however, but he also speaks.  Whether you recognize it or not, President Obama wants the votes of Vietnamese Americans, and is now starting to reach out to the Vietnamese community in the U.S.  As members of a proud and democratic nation, we can help foster this movement by exercising our democratic rights.  It’s election season, people.  Let’s show the candidates that we got the vote.

For the full statement by President Obama on Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2012, click here:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/05/03/statement-president-world-press-freedom-day