Letter of apology from blogger Me Nam to German Embassy and Bundestag Delegation - Dân Làm Báo

Letter of apology from blogger Me Nam to German Embassy and Bundestag Delegation

Dear Mr. Felix Schwartz, Political Officer at the German Embassy in Vietnam,

Dear Professor Norbert Lammert, President of the Bundestag,

My name is Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh. I am writing to apologise to you for failing to attend the meeting in Hanoi with the Delegation of the Bundestag on Sunday, March 29, as planned. I am extremely sorry because an undesired incidence has prevented me from going to Hanoi, though I have tried my best to get there on time.

Yesterday (March 28), on the way to the airport for our departure to Hanoi, my companion - blogger Vo Truong Thien - and I were stopped by two traffic policemen. Then a group of plainclothes security officers openned the taxi door, pulled us out, pushed us into another car, and took us to the police station of Khanh Hoa province, located at 80 Tran Phu street. They did that without showing us any official paper or even their ID card.

One of those officers grabbed my mobile phone so that I could not contact you, my lawyer or my family to notify you of this arbitrary detention.

I remained silent for more than four hours. Afterwards, they asked me to take back my private belonging, ie. a battery charger that they had confiscated of me since last July.

Then they showed me a printout of a letter advocating for the 2015 Campaign for Freedoms, Democracy and Human Rights for Vietnam, of which blogger Vo Truong Thien and I were two of the initiators. They asked me about this letter, but I declined to say anything and just remained silent.

The 2015 Campaign for Human Rights for Vietnam is one of the topics I was planning to present to you in our meeting so that you could introduce it to the Bundestag Delegation as well as the diplomats attending IPU 132 in Hanoi.

Blogger Vo Truong Thien and I were detained for more than ten hours. In the end, the security forces quietly released us and had us get out from the back door of the police station. Some bloggers and friends of mine had been waiting at the front door to call for our release. That may be the reason why we were made to leave from the back door, and the street light there was cut off, so that our friends were unable to meet or photograph us.

Notably, the head of the security forces said to me in a low voice, “Do not try to leave for Hanoi in the next few days.”

Dear Mr. Felix Schwarz and Prof. Norbert Lammert,

I am so sorry about what has happened to us as mentioned above, and I also learn that many bloggers, as members of the Network of Vietnamese Bloggers, and some other religious and human rights activists, were put under house arrest by plainclothes security forces during the event of IPU 132.

Even until now, I cannot think of any effective way to stop arbitrary detentions in our country. As blogger Vo Truong Thien told me today, “It is unacceptable when we, as Vietnamese citizens, are maltreated.” This is the first time my friend was kidnapped in the street, and the fourth time for me.

Once again, please accept my sincere apologies for I have failed to go to Hanoi and tell you what is happening in my country and the efforts by Vietnamese people to fight for freedom, democracy and human rights, especially the 2015 Campaign for Human Rights in Vietnam.

Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh
Member of the Vietnamese Bloggers' Network

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