To: Mr. Truong Tan Sang, President.
My name is Tran Phan Yen Nhi. I was born in 1999 and currently reside at An Hoa hamlet, An Minh Bac commune, U Minh Thuong district, Kien Giang province. I am the granddaughter of Mr. Nguyen Huu Cau, born in 1947, who has spent 39 years in prison. Currently, my grandfather is imprisoned in solitary confinement in Z30A Prison in Xuan Loc, Dong Nai.
Dear Mr. President,
This is my 4th letter pleading you to release my grandfather since I visited him on June 4, 2013. Before that, my great grandmother, grandfather, aunt and father had sent many various agencies more than 500 petitions and letters pleading for the release of my grandfather. But the petitions and letters were sent out without returning any results.
I feel sorrowful for the soul of my great grandmother since she passed away without knowing where her petitions were destined for and what kind of result they could get. What a sad feeling for my great grandmother! I have promised with her soul to continue to write you, Mr. President, calling for help for her only son, who is my beloved grandfather. I pray for her blessing for my grandfather’s wish as he said ‘the prisoner who has spent too much time in prison will be released.’
Dear Mr. President,
My grandfather suffers many illnesses such as lack of blood supply to the brain, frequent fainting and stomach upset. His left eye is blind, his right eye is blurred, his mouth only has the last remaining tooth, and his heart is too weak to beat that he has to hold his chest when talking. Carrying so many illnesses in his old age, his health is so exhausted that I am afraid that he is going leave behind his remaining bones in prison.
I do not know what kind of crime my grandfather committed but I know his prison sentence is so heavy. It weighs more than the word "heavy." This prison sentence has caused the following [grievances to our family]:
My grandmother must remarry because she could not feed my father and my aunt by herself. My great grandmother had languishingly kept waiting for the return of my grandfather until her death. This prison sentence took away the youth hood of my grandfather. This prison sentence uprooted our family for 30 years. After 30 years of my grandfather’s imprisonment, my father could know the truth that his [biological] father has been imprisoned and learned that he has a sister living in a faraway place. This prison sentence caused a son and two grandchildren of my grandfather to bear another last name; the last name of my biological grandfather is Nguyen but ours is Tran. It hurts to think of his life. Grandfather, please be assured that I am very proud of you.
Dear Mr. President,
When I visited my grandfather, he told me that prison officials have told him several times to plead guilty in writing in exchange for his release. However, my grandfather said he is not guilty and he can’t write a confession. He asked me to write petition and complaint for him. So, I respectfully ask you, Mr. President, to consider his case.
A few days before the Tet, on January 14, 2014, two police officers met and told me that my grandfather would be released before the Tet festival so he could celebrate Tet with the family, but that promise never happens and I did not see my grandfather released.
Many petitions for the release of my grandfather have been sent out in a period of time of a few generations but they never return any results.
Today I write you again, Mr. President, to beg you for consideration and help for my grandfather, an old prisoner who has spent a very long time in prison and carried many illnesses, so that he will be able to spend a short remaining time of his life in freedom.
If I have choices to make, I would do two things for my grandfather as follows:
Firstly, if you release my grandfather, I will take his place in prison. I am young and can do labor works for the prison. My grandfather is too old to do any work anymore.
Secondly, if my grandfather will be released, I would shorten my lifespan so my grandfather can live longer.
To end this letter, I wish you, Mr. President, have good health and I hope that this letter will reach the hands of Mr. President.
Tran Phan Yen Nhi
And with this letter, I beg the Vietnamese communities in the country and abroad and Human Rights Organizations to help me press for the release of my grandfather to save him from prison. I would like to sincerely thank all of you a million times.
This is the email address of my father: email@example.com