Prisoner of conscience Mẹ Nấm on week-long hunger strike – hoping to receive mail from family and friends - Dân Làm Báo

Prisoner of conscience Mẹ Nấm on week-long hunger strike – hoping to receive mail from family and friends

Trịnh Kim Tiến - translated by Jasmine Tran (Danlambao) - Quỳnh (Mẹ Nấm) told her mother that “When you get home, please ask my friends to send mail to me, they can post mail to Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh sub-camp K4, sub-team 40, camp 5 Thanh Hoá Prison (phân trại k4, phân đội 40, trại 5 Thanh Hoá).

The current hunger strike is a reaction to the way prison officials have unjustly withheld her mail. All the letters she has attempted to send her children have not reached them either.

Quỳnh wishes to receive mail from her loved ones as she misses them, and wants to know about their lives. Sending and receiving letters for prisoners is not prohibited even by law, so who has given them the right to withhold her mail?

Nấm and Gấu’s mother (Quỳnh) is determined to obtain the mail sent to her from her loved ones and will fight for her right to see them. 

This afternoon, her little son, Gấu, met his mother after two years apart. After being asked whether he would visit Quỳnh again next time, he replied: “No, I threw up a lot [on the way here], Mommy Quỳnh”

But Nấm was different, she had matured, and despite travel-sickness still hopes to revisit her mother again. 

Quỳnh was devastated that her two children had been refused a chance to have a meal together with her. Though Quỳnh’s mother had requested that the family eat together, the prison officials said that such privileges were only for “good” re-education detainees. In Quỳnh’s case, she had been on a week-long hunger strike, which she began over ten days before.

Quỳnh told her mother that “I had been on a hunger strike from 5 May to 11 May, as I objected to some of their ways in handling and treating prisoners”. She also mentioned that she had recently stopped consuming prison food as she realised she felt sick and lethargic afterwards. She now can only eat dried foods such as instant noodles, food from her mother, and fruits.

Currently, prison officials still pressure Quỳnh to write a confession, a self-admission of guilt, though she remains resolute not to. She has been on a hunger strike to object to her unjust treatment. She encourages everyone to write to her to help her obtain her rights to receiving and sending mail.

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