Archive for Freedom of Expression

Communists Are Afraid of Books, Arrest Phuong Uyen Again for Holding One

Posted in Books, Democracy Activists, Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , , on December 21, 2015 by Ian Pham

Phuong Uyen Holding BookPhoto via Tin Mung Cho Nguoi Ngheo

As comical as that headline may be, one might find it even more comical, and sad, that it’s actually true.

If you recall, Nguyen Phuong Uyen is the feisty and highly intelligent young democracy activist who, in 2013, was arrested by the Communist Party for speaking out against the VCP’s despotic, corrupt, and cowardly governance. One of my favorite messages from her was, “Đi chết đi, DCS VN bán nước,” which roughly translates to, “Kill yourselves, treasonous Vietnamese Communist Party.” She was released in August of 2013 due to international pressure, but was still terrorized by the Party thereafter. Well, she is still here, she is still fighting the commies, and she is bolder than ever.

Just over a week ago, the young activist and former prisoner of conscience Phuong Uyen met up with a few friends at a café somewhere in Saigon. In her possession was a newly published book titled Ước Mơ Của Thủy, which translates to The Dreams of Thủy, or Thủy’s Dreams in English. The book is written by a young author, Ms. Le Viet Ky Nhi, with the preface written by Ms. Phuong Uyen herself. For her involvement with the book, as well as for simply having the book on her person, Phuong Uyen was arrested again by VCP police and held captive for several days.

Ước Mơ Của Thủy is a very important piece of literature that is causing quite a stir within the communist dictatorship system. In only 100 pages, the author Le Viet Ky Nhi is able to present some very powerful ideas that are more than scaring the shit out of the communists. Both historical and political, the author starts out by examining the long and deep history of the Viet people, before moving on to contemporary times, and how the country needs to change to rebuild itself.

Naturally, the communists view this as a threat, and have banned the book from circulation in Vietnam.

And so, on December 13, 2015, while meeting a few friends at Chieu coffee shop, and carrying the book in her bag, Nguyen Phuong Uyen was apprehended by a gang of communist policemen and hauled off to the police station. According to Dan Lam Bao, she was detained for two days and one night by the communist police. She is still being monitored and harassed by authorities after her release.

Keep fighting the good fight, Uyen.

You’re not alone.

DMCS.

Sources:

Dan Lam Bao (Collaborator), Dan Lam Bao (CTV), Dan Lam Bao (VRNs and translated by Ngu Ngoc), Tin Mung Cho Nguoi Ngheo, United Press International, Youtube (VanHoaNBLV1)

Viet Khang is Officially Home

Posted in Democracy Activists, Music, Society with tags , , , , on December 15, 2015 by Ian Pham

Viet Khang ReturnsPhoto via Radio Free Asia

It’s official, folks. Viet Khang, the renowned musician and democracy activist, has returned home safely to his family.

In his interview with Radio Free Asia, the musician explains his long trip back home after being released from communist imprisonment. Being provided a group to drive him, Viet Khang did not arrive home until 3-4pm, having left at 7am earlier that morning. He cites the fact that his drivers, taking their sweet time, had to stop for food and refreshments and whatnot, while he was anxious to get home and did not eat at all.

From the same interview, the musician explains that he will be under house arrest for the next 2-3 years, that he is very grateful for all the love and support that he has received throughout this time, and, that he has no regrets for the things that he has done. He is a musician who speaks from his heart, and he is a man who loves his country.

Welcome home, Brother Viet Khang.

Listen to the whole interview at Radio Free Asia.

Musician and Human Rights Activist Viet Khang Released From Prison Yesterday

Posted in Democracy Activists, Music, Politics, Society with tags , , , , on December 15, 2015 by Ian Pham

Viet KhangPhoto via We Heart Music

Yesterday in Vietnam, Viet Khang, the musician and human rights activist who has been imprisoned by the Vietnamese communist government since late 2011 because of his music, was finally released after four years in jail.

Brother Viet Khang, as many of us like to call him, wrote two songs in 2011: “Viet Nam Toi Dau (Where Is My Vietnam)?” and “Anh La Ai (Who Are You)?” Both of these tracks ask some serious questions about the Vietnamese Communist Party and their governance, namely, “why are you selling our nation to the Chinese?” and, “why are you suppressing and terrorizing our people for defending the country?”

As you may know, it is illegal to ask questions in Vietnam, especially if they bring up how stupid or cowardly the communist leadership is. And so, for his courage and the willingness to ask questions, Brother Viet Khang was arrested and sentenced to four years in jail.

Vietnam. Where asking a simple question such as, “why don’t we just defend our country?” can get you sentenced to four years in prison. But, I digress.

As of yesterday, December 14, 2015, it is reported that Viet Khang has finally been released from captivity. According to SBS, Viet Khang’s mother is awaiting his return home. There is not yet news of his safe arrival at this time of writing.

Let us all pray for Viet Khang and his family, and hope that the brave musician returns home to his family soon, if he is not home already.

The Songs of Freedom

Posted in IV. Columns, Music, Politics, Society with tags , , , , on January 9, 2013 by Ian Pham

Alright everyone, here are four songs that I am making downloadable on this website, just for you.  Two of the songs are from brother Viet Khang, the heroic prisoner of freedom, justice, and human rights.  The next two tracks are from Mr. Truc Ho, the great crusader, who has fought tirelessly to raise the human rights issue, and mobilize us Vietnamese across the seas.  Both of these men are great musicians, composing  extremely powerful songs that have left the Communists shaking in their little boots.

The list presented below includes Truc Ho’s popular song, “Dap Loi Song Nui,” which translates to “Answering the Call of the Mountains and Rivers.”  This song was composed earlier in 2008, though I have yet had the opportunity to share it with you.  Any fans of Truc Ho surely know about this song already.  However, if you have not listened to it yet, now is as good a time as any.

tran-thi-hai

The Songs of Freedom:

Viet Khang – Viet Nam Toi Dau?

Viet Khang – Anh La Ai?

Truc Ho – Trieu Con Tim

Truc Ho – Dap Loi Song Nui

To download the songs above, simply right click on each file, then choose the “save link as” option on your computer.  The next step is self explanatory: click save,” or download,” whatever it is that comes up at this point.  These steps apply both to Macs and PCs, as the process and results will be exactly the same.  To my users outside of North America, Vietnam especially, choose the corresponding options in your language and you too should receive the songs.

From here, do as you please with the music.  Listen to it, enjoy it, and share it with the world.  To my people in Vietnam who are able to access this blog, here is your chance to acquire what your government has been trying so hard to shield from you all this time.  Take this music, spread it as far and wide as you can, by whatever means at your disposal.  This is only a small step, but it’s a small step forward.  The world is with you, may you never give up.

In Honor of Viet Khang

Posted in Democracy Activists, IV. Columns, Music, Politics, Society, Videos with tags , , , , , , on February 4, 2012 by Ian Pham

Viet Khang’s music is so powerful and moving that it would be a crime (no pun intended) not to share it with all of you.  It is unfortunate that not all of us can understand his music, as Viet Khang’s songs are performed in Vietnamese.  Do not fret however, for Vietnamese American music producer Truc Ho feels your pain, and was gracious enough to alleviate this language barrier with English subtitles for his version of “Who Are You?”.

Truc Ho did a good job on this interpretation of Viet Khang’s song, assembling a group of musicians under his label to help him sing.  Performing with Truc Ho is Dan Nguyen, Mai Thanh Son, Quoc Khanh, and Doan Phi.  The artists performed the song passionately, enough to bring justice to Viet Khang’s music.  Plus, it comes with English subtitles!  So even if you are not a fluent speaker of Vietnamese, you too can understand the powerful message Viet Khang is aiming to deliver.

The video briefly features a speech given by Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.  Ms. Sanchez has done much to help represent the Vietnamese community in the state of California, and continues to do so today.  Frequently, the Congresswoman has pushed the U.S. government to take a tougher stance on the human rights situation in Vietnam, proving herself to be a valuable ally to the Vietnamese community overseas.

I’ve said this before and will continue to say it.  Viet Khang is a talented and courageous man.  Because of him, not only are the Vietnamese abroad learning about the Communists, but the people within are becoming aware of their crimes as well.  He knew that performing his music would get him arrested, but he went through with it nonetheless.  As a leader, and as a patriot, Viet Khang is not afraid to die.  He has showed us that he is willing to sacrifice himself for the country, something that the entire Communist Party does not have the guts to do.

Viet Khang has more courage in his voice than all 3,000,000 members of the Vietnamese Communist Party combined.  For this remarkable reason, I continue to castigate the Communist Party, and commend the courage and honor of Viet Khang, the great singing patriot of Vietnam.  Like the heroes before him, Viet Khang has demonstrated what one courageous act can do for humanity.  Now think, what would happen if every single citizen came together, as one unitary force, to liberate Vietnam from the grips of these sordid criminals who call themselves the Communist Party.  If one man was able to drive the entire system insane, imagine what we could do together.  The possibilities are boundless, let’s stand together.

A Song by Viet Khang – Anh La Ai (Who Are You)?

Posted in Democracy Activists, Music, Politics, Society, Videos with tags , , , , on February 1, 2012 by Ian Pham

This is the second song composed by Viet Khang, titled “Anh La Ai?” or “Who Are You?”.  The core issues tackled in this song involves the unjust repression of the people by the Communist police and, once again, the humiliating submission by the Vietnamese government to the Chinese.  As the title suggests, the question that Viet Khang is asking to the police is basically “who are you?” or more specifically, “who do you think you are?”.

The Vietnamese Communists have long been criticized for their suppression of the Vietnamese people for protesting against China.  Viet Khang also addresses this issue in his song, asking the Communists how they are able to condemn the patriotism of their own people.  In raising these issues, Viet Khang is courageously putting the Communist Party to shame and showing them how pathetic they really are.

I’ve shared the original version of the song, sang by Viet Khang.  It includes Vietnamese lyrics for my Vietnamese speakers who want to learn the song as well.  To all of my English and non-Vietnamese speakers, I have not forgotten about you!  There is another version of “Anh La Ai?”, sang by Vietnamese American musicians.  Though the video is still in Vietnamese, there are English subtitles, so that you too can know what Viet Khang wants to say.

I will share the English subtitled version of “Anh La Ai?” next time, which I promise you, will be very soon.  For now, please get acquainted with the Vietnamese version of “Who Are You?”, the second musical achievement of Viet Khang.  At this point in time, Viet Khang is still in jail, and the Communist Party is still losing their minds from the impact that his music has made.  We will continue to support Viet Khang, making sure that every Vietnamese around the world hears his music.

The Music of Viet Khang

Posted in Democracy Activists, Music, Politics, Society, Videos with tags , , , , on January 28, 2012 by Ian Pham

It’s been over one month since the Vietnamese police arrested Viet Khang, a musician who was brave enough to raise the crimes of the Communist Party to the public.  Through his music, Viet Khang questions the rule of the Communists and shames them for their long list of atrocities they have committed against the country.  Because of his music, Viet Khang is now in jail, but because of Viet Khang, the Communists are terrified.

There are two songs of Viet Khang’s songs that have caused quite a stir in the Communist country.  One song is titled “Viet Nam Toi Dau?”, which translates to “Where Is My Vietnam?”  The other song is called “Anh La Ai?”, when translated to English, means “Who Are You?”  Both of these songs raise some very core issues in Vietnam today, issues that the Vietnamese government has been trying to cover up for the longest time.

The song shared above is “Viet Nam Toi Dau (Where Is My Vietnam)?”, and raises the issues of the Chinese invasion and the islands of Paracel and Spatley.  Basically, Viet Khang just sings about all of the embarassing concessions that the Vietnamese government has made to China, and asking when it all went so wrong.  The answer is easy: The Communists ruined the country, and Viet Khang is saying it through song.

Unfortunately for all my non-Vietnamese speakers, there is no English translation in this video, so you’ll just have to bare with me.  Don’t worry though, I’ve already told you the gist of the song, and the video footage will certainly help facilitate your understanding, even if the words are foreign.  The next song, “Anh La Ai (Who Are You)?” which, in my opinion, is even powerful lyrically, will be posted in the coming days.  Enjoy!