Blogger Me Nam arrested for spreading message promoting Human Rights which the Vietnamese Authority considered "sensitive" to the regime - Dân Làm Báo

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Blogger Me Nam arrested for spreading message promoting Human Rights which the Vietnamese Authority considered "sensitive" to the regime

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Danlambao - To celebrate the International Human Rights Day on December 10, Blogger Me Nam Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, together with members of the Vietnam Blogger Network have accepted the invitation to participate a human rights campaign, Human Rights Challenge - Thử thách của Nhân Quyền*, initiated and avocated by the German Embassy in Vietnam. This is one of many activities that Vietnam Blogger Network planned to pursue to mark the first year anniversary of the founding of the Vietnam Blogger Network (VBN).

The campaign Human Rights Challenge - Thử thách của Nhân Quyền called on people in Vietnam to express their views on human rights by start saying: - I support Human Rights because: / Tôi ủng hộ Nhân quyền bởi vì: ...

Mr. Felix Schwarz: Consul and Political Counselor, German Embassy
Ms. Jutta Frasch: German Ambassador to Vietnam 
Mr. Christoph Strässer: Human Rights Envoy, German Embassy

In Nha Trang, as citizens of a country which is a signatory of United Nations' Universal Declarations on Human Rights and sitting member of the United Nations' Human Rights Council, Blogger Me Nam, her friends and some of VBN members have together expressed their strong support for the Human Rights Challengecampaign to celebrate the International Human Rights Day. In doing so, Blogger Me Nam and her friends also wanted to let people know that the rights of expression is protected by the Vietnamese Constitution and stipulated by the International Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations' Universal Declarations on Human Rights, which Vietnam has signed.

Blogger Me Nam and her friends chose Vinh Thanh Market to be the place to publicly express their advocacy on human rights with messages written in Vietnamese and English languages:

- I support the Human Rights because: Without Human Rights, would not have FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY does not exist

- I support Human Rights because: Only with Human Rights that we are able to empower our own people and our communities.



After spreading the human rights messages to the patrons at Vinh Thanh Market, Blogger Me Nam and her friends, Ms Hoang Anh, Thien, Tam, Toai, a female friend and a 27 months old toddler went to a cafeteria nearly for breakfast before going home. Soon, after they arrived, about 20 plainclothes policemen stormed in, arrested all of them and brought them back to the police station for questioning including the 27 months old toddler.

Outside the cafeteria, there were also about 100 policemen, mobilised to the scene from nearby police stations as well as from the provincial police office, equipped with cameras, camcorders, took pictures and recorded the arrest.

At the police station, after threatening the group of peaceful human rights promoters with severe punishments, police separated Blogger Me Nam from the group and started questioning/interrogating. Finally, the report produced by police, stated:

"...As denounced by the masses, police discovered this group of people holding a placard with the message "I support human rights because: Without Human Rights, would not have FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY does not exist" and taking pictures in public places.

Considering this was dubious act, local police had to invite them to the police station for questioning and confiscated their possessions...".

Blogger Me Nam and all of her friends who was unlawfully detained, rejected what was said in the report and refused to sign the report citing the report was produced with false accusations, slandering and far from the truth. As a result, Blogger Me Nam, all five of her friends and the 27 months old toddler were transported to Nha Trang City's police station for further questioning until 4:00pm

At Nha Trang City police station, these Human Rights promoters were told that taking photos in a public place with a placard promoting human rights without permission from the authority is illegal and they will be prosecuted for disturbing public order.

During the question/interrogation session, police repeatedly pressured Blogger Me Nam's friends whether they were promised financial incentive to participate Blogger Me Nam's human rights promotion activities.


Apart to from terrorising the detainees during the question/interrogation session, police also threatened them with jail terms if they continued to make contact and support Blogger Me Nam's human rights activities.

At the time, Blogger Me Nam was arrested, she was recovering from bad flu and high temperature fever. When was asked about what her feeling, Blogger Me Nam shared:

"My health was not in a good shape as I was recovering from a very bad fever and I felt very tired. I was too fatigued to argue with them.

Leaving the police station after saying good bye to good friends of mine, I went home to take my daughter to the church, my heart sunk and saddened for what happened today

Why is Human Rights in Vietnam so sensitive?

Why did police suggest that I've got paid for doing this and I paid money to my friends for helping me taking pictures?

Why while in the International arena, Vietnam spent money and efforts lobbying nations to become an active membership of United Nations' Human Rights Council, but in Vietnam, the Vietnamese authority continues suppressing Human Rights advocates and treated people who simply holding a placard to promote Human Rights like criminals?

Is this called freedom?"

A year after becoming an active membership of United Nations' Human Rights Council, Human Rights situation in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has sadly got worst. Human Rights in Vietnam has been "raised to the new standard" by the local/provincial authority: they unlawfully arrested people who simply wished to express their views by standing at the front of the market, holding a placard and spreading a message to support Human Rights:

Without Human Rights, we would not have FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY does not exist

Why the Authority of a country with slogan: "Independence - Freedom - Happiness" becomes too sensitive for such a message?

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