Blogger Dieu Cay reached day 27th on hunger strike - Dân Làm Báo

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Blogger Dieu Cay reached day 27th on hunger strike

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Danlambao/Translated by Cwene - Today, the 19th of July 2013, marks the 27th day of blogger Điêu Cay Hai Nguyen’s continuous hunger strike at Prison No. 6 – in Thanh Chuong, Nghe An.

This news was conveyed to Dieu Cay’s family members on July 17th 2013 by an activist writer, Mr Nguyen Xuan Nghia. Nghia was imprisoned alongside Dieu Cay. He struggled to communicate news of Dieu Cay to his family and before finishing his message was gagged and dragged away.

The previous day (16/7/2013), Dieu Cay’s son and Ms Duong Thi Tan had a difficult trip from Saigon to Nghe An, to visit the prison with food rations and provisions. However, their request to see Dieu Cay was refused; prison staff explaining “Mr Hai had been disorderly in the prison”.

After many questions and demands to see Dieu Cay, Duong Thi Tan and her son had no choice but to leave the prison and return to the airport for their flight back to Saigon.

On July 17th 2013, Mrs Nguyen Thi Nga also went to Prison No.6 (Thanh Chuong, Nghe an) to visit her husband. Her husband, writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia was imprisoned together with blogger Dieu Cay.

As she completed the relevant paperwork regarding visiting protocol, a prison officer warned Mrs Nguyen to only talk of her family and health, forbidding her to talk of any other subject. The visiting time also was reduced from 30 minutes to only 15 minutes. Mrs Nguyen became highly suspicious of what the reasons behind this were.

* Writer Nguyễn Xuân Nghĩa (64 years old), imprisoned in September 2008, recently detained at Prison No.6 (Thanh Chuong, Nghe An). He was sentenced for 6 years in prison and 3 years under house arrest.

During the visit, Mrs Nga Nguyen talked to her husband through thick glass. Mr Nguyen was controlled and monitored by 4 prison officers, listening to his every word.

During the conversation, Mrs Nga Nguyen asked her husband “Have you recently eaten meals with Hai Dieu Cay?”

Writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia replied sadly “I have meals just on my own, now.” 

At that moment, the prison officer cut him off. He loudly threatened to end the visit and all future visits, if they continued to talk of “other” things.

As the 15 minute visit came to a close, writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia suddenly cried out to his wife, “Hai Dieu Cay has actually been on hunger strike for 25 days”. His voice trembled as he was seemingly about to burst with emotion.

Following this outburst, 4 furious prison officers jumped on him, gagged him and violently dragged him away. Shocked and devastated, Nga stood and witnessed her husband being forcibly taken away… 

According to Mrs Nga Nguyen, her husband’s facial expression and his voice portrayed the critical status of Hai Diêu Cay’s life.

Prison security agents instructed Nga to a secure room to make a report accusing her of violating visitor rules. Mrs Nga Nguyen did not agree to sign this report. Later as she talked to Danlambao, Mrs Nga Nguyen considered the consequences her husband would have faced after revealing the news about Dieu Cay.

Previously in February 2012, blogger Dieu Cay went on a hunger strike for 28 continuous days at Prison B34 (Department of Police) to protest against law violations committed by investigating security agencies. That hunger strike greatly impacted on his health. On March the 6th 2012, Dieu Cay was urgently hospitalized in 30/4 Hospital for stomach ulcers and a renal cyst.

Dieu Cay’s son Nguyen Tri Dung received the news of his father’s state as he arrived Saigon. He wrote the following message:

"My father has already risked his life after his hunger strike in February and March 2012. We know his life is in danger. 

My mother and I will fly back to Vinh. I hope that anyone concerned of our plight will help report to and inform the public, and support my mother and myself at Vinh tomorrow, if possible. In the case that tomorrow yields no good results, please help us on in the days to come.

My sincere gratitude to all.”

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