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Father Nguyen Van Ly

Printer Friendly VersionPrinter Friendly VersionSend to a FriendSend to a FriendPrisoner of conscience Father Nguyen Van Ly was returned to prison from hospital on 11 December: he had not fully recovered from a stroke. He is partially paralyzed on one side. The prison authorities are not providing him with adequate medical care, and his health is in danger. On 11 December Father Nguyen Van Ly was moved back to Ba Sao prison from Prison Hospital 198, administered by the Ministry of Public Security in Ha Noi, where he had been recovering from a stroke he suffered on 14 November. Although he has regained some movement, his family says that he remains partially paralyzed on his right side, limiting what he is able to do without assistance. . Pro-democracy activist Father Ly, who is 63 years old, began an eight-year prison sentence in March 2007 for “conducting propaganda” against the state. He has been held mainly in solitary confinement, and has suffered from high blood pressure and other health problems. In the seven months before the stroke, he had several bouts of illhealth, including some weeks of paralysis of the right side of his body, for which the prison authorities provided neither a proper diagnosis nor adequate medical treatment. Father Ly was first jailed for his criticism of government policies on religion in the late 1970s, and has already spent some 17 years as a prisoner of conscience, for calling for respect for human rights and freedom of expression. He is one of the founders of internet-based pro-democracy movement Bloc 8406, and has helped to set up other political groups which are banned. He also secretly published a dissident journal, To Do Ngon Luan (Freedom and Democracy). BACKGROUND INFORMATION Father Nguyen Van Ly is one of more than 40 dissidents imprisoned in Viet Nam as the authorities aim to suppress any criticism of government policies and allegations about human rights violations. The authorities use vaguelyworded articles of the Penal code to stifle and criminalize freedom of expression, in breach of international treaties that Viet Nam has ratified. In 2009 Viet Nam rejected important recommendations made by states under the Universal Periodic Review process, including recommendations to amend or appeal national security provisions of the Penal Code inconsistent with international law; to remove other restrictions on dissent, debate, political opposition, and freedom of expression and assembly; and to release prisoners of conscience. RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible: - Expressing grave concern that Father Ly has been returned to prison while still suffering the effects of a stroke, and pointing out that in prison he will not receive the medical care and assistance that he needs; - Calling on the authorities to return Father Ly to hospital immediately, so he can receive the medical assistance he requires, and to ensure that his family are allowed frequent access to him; - Calling on the authorities to release Father Ly immediately and unconditionally. APPEALS TO: Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Gia Khiem Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1 Ton That Dam Street Ba Dinh district, Ha Noi VIET NAM Fax: 011 8443 823 1872 Email: bc.mfa@mofa.gov.vn Salutation: Dear Minister Minister of Public Security Le Hong Anh Ministry of Public Security 44 Yet Kieu Street Ha Noi VIET NAM Fax: 011 8443 942 0223 Salutation: Dear Minister COPIES TO: Ambassador Le Cong Phung Embassy of Vietnam 1233 20th St NW #400 Washington DC 20036 Fax: 1 202 861 0917 Email: info@vietnamembassy.us OR consular@vietnamembassy.us