An Unconscionable Case of Human Rights Violation in Socialist Vietnam Mentally and Physically Abused Prisoner Ms. Lê Thị Hồng Liêngreenspun.com : LUSENET : Vietnamese American Society : One Thread
An Unconscionable Case of Human Rights Violation in Socialist Vietnam Mentally and Physically Abused Prisoner Ms. Lê Thị Hồng Liên
Cô Lê Thị Hồng Liên và lớp học t́nh thương.
Democratic Forum urgently calls upon concerned governments and authorities as well as humanitarian and religious organizations to demand the government of Socialist Republic of Vietnam to immediately release and provide adequate medical care to Ms. Lê Thị Hồng Liên.
Ms. Lê Thị Hồng Liên aged 21 “taught poor children and street children in a Mennonite Christian school in Ho Chi Minh City. She organised classes entitled "classes of love" which had been a bone of contention to the authorities. She was repeatedly arrested and severely beaten.” On November 12, 2004, she was sentenced to 1 year in prison for exercising her religious freedom.
“During the trial on November 12, she appeared weak and unwell, and it emerged during the proceedings that the 21-year-old had been on hunger strike for nine days previously. Her parents, who claim Le has been ‘seriously abused and beaten’, have not been allowed to visit her.”
Democratic Forum has herein enclosed news excerpts concerning this unconscionable case of human rights violation in Socialist Vietnam. We are deeply concerned about the physical and mental health of Ms. Lê Thị Hồng Liên. Ms. Lê reportedly “has suffered extreme abuse designed to bring her to the point of insanity.” Without immediate medical care and attention, Ms. Lê’s incarceration would further endanger her physical and mental well-being.
Ms. Lê Thị Hồng Liên’s life is in jeopardy. Democratic Forum urgently calls upon concerned governments and authorities as well as humanitarian and religious organizations to demand the government of Socialist Republic of Vietnam to immediately release and provide adequate medical care to Ms. Lê Thị Hồng Liên.
In Vietnamese http://www.rfa.org/vietnamese/tongiao/2004/12/17/Le_Thi_Hong_Lien_Mennonite/email.html Thân phụ cô Lê Thị Hồng Liên: "Con tôi bị hành hạ tới mức mất trí" 2004.11.18 By line: Phạm Việt Hùng
Là một cô gái năm nay mới 21 tuổi, cô Lê Thị Hồng Liên v́ niềm tin của ḿnh đă phải chịu cảnh tù ngục, để lại nhà cha mẹ già và người em tật nguyền. Sau lần thăm viếng cuối cùng đầy khó khăn vất vả, gia đ́nh cô Liên đă thật sự đau xót khi thấy con gái ḿnh bị hành hạ tới mức trở thành mất trí.
Để t́m hiểu rơ hơn Việt Hùng của Ban Việt Ngữ - Đài Á Châu Tự Do đă liên lạc với ông Lê Quang Du, thân phụ của cô Liên và được ông kể lại như sau: (xin nghe phần phỏng vấn dưới đây)
In English http://www.ishr.org/press/pr2004/nov04/041119vietnam.htm
ISHR Press Release
Vietnam ISHR: Imprisoned Mennonite tortured The Christian teacher Le Thi Hong Lien fell several ill
Ho Chi Minh City/Frankfurt/M. - 19 November 2004. The Mennonite Christian Le Thi Hong Lien who was in the prison Chi Hoa until 15 November, is presumed to have fallen seriously ill. She was admitted to hospital. The parents of the 21-year old teacher fear for their daughter's life. The International Society for Human Rights calls upon the Vietnamese government to immediately look into the matter and to release Le Thi Hong Lien for humanitarian reasons and medical treatment. Together with five others, the young woman was on trial in the people's court of Ho Chi Minh City on 12 November 2004 in the so-called "Mennonite Trial" around the pastor and human rights activist Nguyen Hong Quang. The six Mennonites received a total of eight and a half years of imprisonment. Le Thi Hong Lien received 12 months imprisonment for "civil disorder". Witnesses reported that already during the trial she could not stand or walk. She kept seated during the proclamation of the sentence. She did not recognise her father who was present in the courtroom during the trial. A request made by pastor Quang to treat her for exhaustion and a nervous breakdown was not granted.
After the trial the parents of Le Thi Hong Lien wanted to visit their daughter on 15 November. However, they were not allowed to see her. They were told instead that their daughter was being treated in the medical ward. After they had been waiting for a long time, the prison warden told the parents on the next day that their daughter had been transferred to hospital where she was treated for "mental illness". Only after long negotiations was the prison warden willing to reveal the name of the hospital. After the parents had been able to see their daughter after all on the 16 November, the father reported on the terrible state he found his daughter in. She did not recognise nor speak to her parents. The shadows of policemen caused severe distress in her. Her arm was full of red spots, her eyes were swollen and covered with bruises. A toe was bleeding, the foot nail had been ripped off. The parents concluded from what they saw that their daughter had been tortured. Le Thi Hong Lien had refused to make the required "confession".
Le Thi Hong Lien taught poor children and street children in a Mennonite school in Ho Chi Minh City. She organised classes entitled "classes of love" which had been a bone of contention to the authorities. She was repeatedly arrested and severely beaten. According to information of the International Society for Human Rights, the Vietnamese government intensifies the pressure on the Mennonites around pastor Quang. The house of the pastor which also serves as an office for the Mennonites has been searched several times in the last few nights. His wife was told to remove the sign outside the front door which reads "Mennonite Church". Pupils, students and Christians who had come and visited her, were fined and were prohibited from staying in the house.
VIETNAM: SEVENTEEN PASTORS TORTURED Seventeen Hmong pastors from northern Vietnam endured days of torture after police seized them during secret ministry training.
The group, who were arrested in the south of the country, were then forced to sign documents declaring that they renounced their faith, according to Christian Aid.
On their release, the group were sent back to northern Vietnam. They are now receiving ministry and support from other church leaders – but their future is uncertain. The Hmong pastors will now be closely monitored by police; if they are arrested again, the consequences could be far worse.
The Hmong tribes people, who tend to live in remote mountain and jungle areas, have been a long-standing target of government repression, not least because they have been so receptive to Christianity. According to Christian Aid, there is a huge need for more trained church leaders among the Hmong as most pastors are currently responsible for between four and 12 churches. Yet, training is hugely risky, as these most recent arrests confirm.
Meanwhile, in Ho Chi Minh City, there is growing concern for three of the ‘Mennonite Six’ jailed last month for ‘resisting’ uncover agents who were monitoring their church.
Le Thi Hong Lien, the only woman in the group, has reportedly been hospitalised with what the authorities are calling ‘a mental disease’. During the trial on November 12, she appeared weak and unwell, and it emerged during the proceedings that the 21-year-old had been on hunger strike for nine days previously. Her parents, who claim Le has been ‘seriously abused and beaten’, have not been allowed to visit her.
Le’s fellow evangelist Pham Ngoc Thach is thought to have ‘sustained life-threatening injuries’ in custody, according to Compass. And church elder Nguyen Hieu Nghia is reported to have been ill with a ‘high fever’.
Pray for the Hmong pastors arrested and beaten in southern Vietnam. Ask God to heal them emotionally and spiritually, and pray that their forced confessions would not be held against them. Pray for the health and safety of each of the ‘Mennonite Six’, including their pastor, Rev Nguyen Hong Quang, a human rights lawyer.
-- (Elvis-Khoeo@BaGia.Com), December 26, 2004