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AFP - Saturday, June 20

HANOI (AFP) - - A global association of lawyers says Vietnam's "arbitrary" arrest of a human rights lawyer contravenes international legal standards and the country's own constitution.

The International Bar Association's (IBA's) Human Rights Institute made the comments in a letter to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, dated Wednesday and received by AFP late Thursday.

Posted on 24 Jun 2009
Almost all Vietnam state media outlets on Saturday June 13, 2009 simultaneously reported police had arrested a lawyer known for his role in defending pro-democracy activists, accusing him of working with 'hostile forces' against the communist state.

The People's Public Security Newspaper, run by Vietnam police force, and most of other state media outlets reported on Saturday that lawyer Le Cong Dinh had been taken into custody in an "expedited procedure" for "colluding with domestic and foreign reactionaries to sabotage the security of Vietnamese State."
Posted on 14 Jun 2009
Former South Vietnam President Nguyen Van Thieu on Kissinger's memoirs and the Vietnam war

SPIEGEL:

Mr Thieu, for five years, from 1968 to 1973, the United States tried to negotiate peace for Vietnam. America's chief negotiator, Henry Kissinger, describes at length in his memoirs how you, as President of South Vietnam, undermined his efforts to bring peace in a war that had lasted for many years, cost millions of lives and, in his words, seemed destined to 'break America's heart'. Why were you obstructive?

THIEU:

That is complete nonsense. If I had been obstructive, there would have been no peace settlement in 1973 ââ¬â€œ although, as everyone knows, it was not a good peace, witness the consequences in Vietnam. Kissinger represented the policy and interests of the American Government. I, as President of Vietnam, had the task of defending my country's vital national interests.

I frequently pointed out to President Nixon and Dr Kissinger that abandoning a few unimportant positions in a little country like Vietnam might not mean very much to a great power like the United States. But for us, it was a matter of life and death for the entire nation.
....
Posted on 06 Jun 2009
MAY 7, 2009

By VO VAN AI From today's Wall Street Journal Asia.

Vietnam's human-rights record will come under scrutiny tomorrow at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Hanoi is hoping the council, which includes Cuba and Saudi Arabia, will rub clean its murky record on human rights. Freedom-loving countries shouldn't let this happen.

Vietnam's report to the Human Rights Council in preparation for this review paints a glowing self-portrait of the Communist nation as a "rule-of-law state of the people, by the people and for the people." But human beings are absent from Vietnam's concept of human rights. The document extols political stability over political rights. The "most sacred" human right, states the report, is the right to independence won by the Communists under Ho Chi Minh. It also claims Vietnam should be an exception to universal human-rights rules.

Posted on 18 May 2009
AP - Tuesday, May 5

HANOI, Vietnam - A human rights group slammed Vietnam's record on workers' rights Monday, accusing the communist government of trying to eliminate independent labor unions and calling for the release of labor activists.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said at least eight activists have been arrested since 2006 in Vietnam's crackdown on independent trade unions, and urged the government to release five who are still detained.
Posted on 07 May 2009
by Ed Oshiro, MPH (Master of Public Health)

Thirty minutes after our Vietnam Airline flight departed from Tan Son Nhut airport in Ho Chi Minh City, we looked down upon the denuded red plains and my wife and I instantaneously felt an incredible sense of relief and freedom. We were finally free from the daily harassment, intimidation and greed of the Vietnamese officials and we could actually feel the weight of the last three months lift off our shoulders.
Posted on 27 Apr 2009
Human rights lawyers and cyber-dissidents Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan were arrested at their Hanoi homes on 6 March 2007 on charges of "hostile propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam."

One of the leaders of Vietnam’s pro-democracy movement, a signatory of the "Bloc 8406" appeal and a determined human rights advocate, Nguyen Van Dai often posted essays on websites based abroad. In June 2006, shortly after the 10th Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, he wrote an article on the "right to found a party in Vietnam" for the BBC’s Vietnamese-language website.
Posted on 20 Mar 2009
PARIS (AFP) -- An incendiary novel by Vietnam's most popular dissident writer takes on the mythical figure of Ho Chi Minh, claiming the "Father of the Nation" had a secret lover half his age -- and that she was raped and murdered by his own Communist comrades.

Interviewed in Paris, where she lives in exile and where the book was released this month, 61-year-old Duong Thu Huong claims the Vietnamese regime has suppressed the story of the national hero's twilight years.

Like her previous works "The Zenith" -- which casts Ho Chi Minh as "The President" -- is banned from Vietnamese bookshops, but it has been released on the Internet, drawing close to 100,000 readers and wide critical interest.
Posted on 11 Feb 2009
Source: Barnes & Noble

Product Details
ISBN: 0060888385
ISBN-13: 9780060888381
Format: Hardcover, 336pp
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Sales Rank: 28,506

From the Publisher

During the Vietnam War, Time reporter Pham Xuan An befriended everyone who was anyone in Saigon, including American journalists such as David Halberstam and Neil Sheehan, the CIA's William Colby, and the legendary Colonel Edward Lansdale -- not to mention the most influential members of the South Vietnamese government and army. None of them ever guessed that he was also providing strategic intelligence to Hanoi, smuggling invisible ink messages into the jungle inside egg rolls. His early reports were so accurate that General Giap joked, “We are now in the U.S. war room.” For more than twenty years, An lived a dangerous lie -- and no one knew it because he was a master of both his jobs.

After the war, An was named a Hero of the People's Army and was promoted to general -- one of only two intelligence officers to ever achieve that rank.
Posted on 26 Jun 2008
In January 1995, a remarkable Vietnamese literary figure passed away. Vietnam did not lose just a poet however; gone was someone who had a remarkable love for his country and courage to devote his life to a simple pursuit--the basic freedoms belonging to every human being. Who was Phung Quan?

Phung Quan, born in 1932 in central Vietnam, came of age during the national struggle for independence. A struggle that seemed won in 1954 when French colonialists were ejected from the country. Yet for Vietnamese who lived in the North of the now partitioned country, including Phung Quan, the end of French domination did not lead to any more independence, nor freedom. The yoke of foreign colonialism was replaced by one with a domestic face. In 1956, Phung Quan, age 24, together with a group of writers and poets in the North founded the "Nhan Van" and "Giai Pham". These two publications, and the historic literary movement of the same name, set out to examine life in the so-called "Democratic Republic of Viet Nam."
Posted on 11 Jun 2008

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