----- Original Message -----
Vietnam: President Bush Is Pushing For Improved Trade
As Human Rights Suffering Is Getting Worse.
White House Contact Information Is Below.
This should be above politics...
Sender note: material below as received.
It is not
pleasant reading. Hanoi, rather
than put on a
temporary facade of pseudo-decency, is cracking down,
completely unafraid of jeopardizing PNTR with U.S.
entry into WTO. Reason:
they believe they have
completely duped US Congress, US news media, etc., and
don't have to worry about unpleasant publicity.
Hanoi's ideologues must be laughing hysterically: "We
duped them AGAIN!!" Senators Grassley and Baucus,
with Rep. Hastert, and reportedly Bush himself,
are pushing for PNTR with Hanoi. WHY? At what point
amorality become immorality?]]]]
...message text follows here:
August 18, 2006 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Friends and Human Rights Activists:
With delicate WTO access
negotiations going on and
PNTR status pending in the U.S. Congress, one would
think that Hanoi would soft-pedal its
the dissidents, at least until PNTR is secured and
President Bush completes his visit to Vietnam (at
APEC Summit) this coming November.
But contrary to expectation, the situation of human
Vietnam has worsenes in recent days.
For more details, please see our fact sheet in the
attachmen. Please review it
and take appropriate
actions as soon as possible to help human rights
violations victims in Vietnam.
you and may God bless you.
Nguyen Thanh Trang
(Vietnam Human Rights Network)
Human Rights Network:
HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN VIETNAM
With delicate WTO access negotiations going
PNTR status pending in the U.S. Congress, one would
think that Hanoi would soft-pedal its repression of
dissidents, at least until PNTR is secured and
President Bush completes his visit to Vietnam (at the
APEC Summit) this
But contrary to expectation, the situation of human
rights in Vietnam has worsened day
The August 12 raid in Hanoi
On Saturday, August 12, between the hours of 8:00 a.m.
and 9:30 a.m.
(Hanoi time), the Public Security Police
descended in force on the homes of five dissidents who
were subsequently forced
to go to various Public
Security offices in town (for instance, Hoang Tien to
No. 7 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Hanoi,
and Nguyen Khac
Toan to 87 Tran Hung Dao Street, Hanoi) to answer
about a "plot" in which they are involved.
The five were:
-The writer HOANG TIEN, who lives at Room A11,
Thanh Xuan Bac Collective, Hanoi.
-The recently released NGUYEN KHAC TOAN, who lives
at 11 Ngo Trang Tien, Hanoi.
-The lawyer NGUYEN VAN DAI, who lives at Apt
302-Z8, Bach Khoa Collective, Hanoi.
-The engineer BACH NGOC
DUONG, whose temporary
address in Hanoi is at No. 15 Alley 88, To Vinh Dien
THI XUAN, a cousin of Nguyen Khac Toan
and a teacher, who lives at Apt 403 Alley 186, Ban To
Chuc (Organization Committee)
Collective, Ngoc Ha
The case of Ms. Xuan is slightly different. She was
not arrested right
away. Instead, she was followed by
six Public Security officers all the way to Bac Giang
(about 30 miles north
of Hanoi) before she was
arrested and escorted back to Hanoi for interrogation.
The plot they were supposed to be involved
in is their
intention to put out an Internet bulletin entitled TU
DO DAN CHU (Freedom and Democracy),
of all freedom and democracy loving
Vietnamese all over the world," which can be later
downloaded and distributed as
a paper bulletin
(because not many people have Internet access in
Vietnam). The first issue was planned for August
In the case of Nguyen Khac Toan, he is reported by
Radio Free Asia (on August 14)[[Radio Free Asia
rfa.org is very informative]] that when he
was asked to go to the Public Security Office
mentioned above, at first he
did not want to comply
saying that the
police did not have an arrest warrant for him. But
the police, about
ten of them, nonetheless forced him
to go. He was interrogated from 9:30 until 12:30. At
the lunch break,
he refused to eat in protest. The
interrogation resumed at 2:30 p.m. and lasted until 7
p.m. before he was allowed
We are told that none of the five dissidents agreed
to sign the minutes of the interrogation sessions
that they are illegal. According to
a protest letter written the next day (August 13) to
the Minister of Public
Security by the writer Hoang
Tien, this is what happened in his case:
Normally an invitation to go and have a chat
police would allow the recipient some time to arrange
his schedule. In this case, there was no advance
and he was forced to go with the police. The
interrogation revolves around the group's intention to
the bulletin Tu Do Dan Chu[Democratic
The dissidents' position was that they did nothing
The right to freedom of opinion is expressly
mentioned in the Vietnamese Constitution (of 1992).
If the press law limits
that right, it is the press
law that is illegal, because it is unconstitutional.
The bulletin they intended to put out
is a mere
internal bulletin, it is not meant for sale to the
public nor is it meant to be a business operated
profit. It is no different from an internal organ
like a school bulletin board. Furthermore, it is not
out yet. So how can it be judged to be illegal.
With no exhibit available, how can the
dissidents be accused
of doing something wrong?
The way the police operated shows that they
realized they were not in the right.
they showed the dissidents the invitations but
took them right back. These invitation papers would
handed over to the dissidents at the end of the
interrogation session, they were told, but
this was not done.
Furthermore, when in the
afternoon of Saturday, August 12, the police
went to the dissidents' homes to look for evidence,
did not have a search warrant. When asked, they
could not produce any. Nonetheless, they came
not in uniform
but in a group of up to 15-16 persons
who constantly communicated with some higher authority
on their cell phones.
They said, they were told to
proceed with the search even without warrant. So they
just shoved aside Hoang Tien
and his wife, both in
their 70's, and started
confiscating all sorts of documents, including his
and not just political documents.
When they were done they asked Hoang Tien to sign a
paper saying that he voluntarily
handed over these
materials. But Hoang Tien refused. In the end they
took away a big carton of documents,
CPU and his Motorola cell phone--without giving him
even a receipt. "It's like robbery," Hoang
In the case of Nguyen Khac Toan, the police also
went to his home while he was being
the police station. Toan's mother, who is in her
80's, refused to let them in. Nonetheless,
forced their way in and took away documents and his
computer's CPU. Bach Ngoc Duong and Nguyen Van Dai
similarly treated. They both had their computer
CPU taken away and their cell phones confiscated.
After Saturday, Aug 12, Toan was summoned by the
police again on Monday, Aug 14, then on Tuesday, Aug
15, because they
suspected him to be the brain behind
the proposed bulletin, Tu Do Dan Chu. The engineer
Bach Ngoc Duong only offered
his computer skills but
it is believed that his communications with others
were somehow known to the police, which led
raid. The June 30 raid on the home of Prof. Nguyen
Thanh Giang. It should be mentioned in this
that at 6:30 a.m. on June 30, some 20
Public Security police from Tu Liem District in Hanoi
invaded the home of Prof.
Nguyen Thanh Giang (No. 6
Trung Van Geophysics and Aeronautics Collective, Tu
Liem, Hanoi) and carted away some 50 kilograms
of books and documents, including many of his recent
writings on human rights and Sino-Vietnamese
Prof. Giang was so incensed by this
raid that he tried-futilely-to resist with a butcher
also, during July, the police cut off all
telephone lines to the homes of the dissidents
throughout the countries, including
their cell phone services.
Torture of Vu Hoang Hai (August 5-8, 2006).
in April this year, a group of 118 persons signed the
so-called "2006 Manifesto for Freedom and Democracy
Vietnam" spearheaded by Father Nguyen Van Ly in
Hue and Phuong Nam Do Nam Hai in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh
then, nearly two thousand more people
inside Vietnam have added their signatures to the
Manifesto, which is also widely
supported outside of
Vietnam. The group has since renamed itself
the "8406 Bloc" ("8406" standing for "8 April
The authorities at first did nothing about this
group but when VPA (Vietnam People's Army)
Tran Anh Kim in Thai Binh (home of an anti-corruption
mini-rebellion back in 1997) succeeded in gathering 50
from Thai Binh Province, several of these
people were called up for interrogation.
The most recent cases
of retaliation against the
8406 Bloc people include the denial (on July 29) of an
exit visa to Pham Ba Hai, who has
been living in India
having a business (Mayur Uniquoter, Ltd.) over
there and who just happened to visit Vietnam when
was shown in a picture with some of the 8406 Bloc
signatories; the summoning of Du Lam, a writer in
to several "working sessions" because of his
writings on the Dan Chim Viet website in Poland, among
other; and especially,
the case of
Vu Hoang Hai, 41, who was not only interrogated in
Saigon (at the police station of Ward 18, District
Ho Chi Minh City) but also tortured from August 5 to
According to a letter which he sent
August 4 he received an invitation to go to the police
station the next day for a "working session."
arrived there at 8 a.m., was brought into a room
where "a great many people were there, un-uniformed
showing very cold faces. They all looked at
me intensely, took my picture before asking me to sit
He was shown a copy of the 2006 Manifesto and a
number of articles attributed to the "Bach Dang Giang
Asked whether he brought along a tape
recorder, he answered No but was still searched and
his cell phone taken away.
They then opened the cell
phone address book and asked Hai about each and every
person found in it. They were
especially insistent on
the cases of former refugees who came back to visit
Vietnam. When he protested,
an older police officer
walked up to him and started cursing. Hai said that
was uncalled for, he immediately received
hard punch on his left face that left him reeling.
And this treatment went on and on, he is punched or
the back each time his answers were deemed
to be unsatisfactory. This went on until 6 p.m.
he complained and said that he had
hypertension, Hai was told: "If you die we would be
even happier." In the meantime,
was outside the police station crying and holding
their young infant. Other police were dispatched
his home to tell his family that they had better
cooperate, otherwise they would in bad trouble.
The next day (August 6), he was ordered to go back
to the station. He was not beaten up as on the first
interrogation went on all day, with the police
officers taking turns. When he could not stand it any
would yell and said that he must stay awake
and answer them. He was not released until 6 p.m.
The same treatment
went on on the third day (August 7)
and he had to tell them in every detail what he did
ever since his refugee days.
On August 8, he was interrogated from morning till
night without much food or drink. The police
him and cajoling him, which
left him so tense that he felt totally exhausted.
Fortunately, friends of his came
and rushed him to the
hospital so that he could be taken care of because of
the beatings he received on the first day.
how he escaped further interrogation and torture.
The tortures in Bac Giang
The situation of the Unified Buddhist Church is not
much better. Not only was there an attempt by the
police to set
fire to Phuoc Buu Temple in Xuyen Moc
district, Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, on two nights,
August 3 and 5, simply because
the resident abbot and
priests refused to quit the UBC and join the
state-sponsored Buddhist Church. How do we
it's the police work? Very simple, normally there
would be a bevy of police 24 hours a day in front
the temple to take note of who comes in and out. But
on the said nights, somehow the police simply
as by magic.
In Khanh Hoa province, the abbot nun Thich Nu Thong
Man of Dich Quang Temple, Ninh Ha township,
district, was expelled from her temple on June 1,
2006, because she agreed to be a Unified Buddhist
representative in the province. After this,
she and her temple were harassed in many different way
with the police
telling all sorts of
rumors about her being a bad element. On May 28,
about ten mafia types came into the temple
and made a
ruckus, using crude and irreverent language. The
next day, Mr. Lac, head of the Religion committee
the district, even asserted: "The ruckus the other day
was the doing of the chief of Thuan Loi hamlet. And
will keep on until Nun Thong Man leaves Dich Quang
But the worst case was the revelations that
out in a trial in Bac Giang province north of Hanoi.
Falsely accused of stealing Buddhist statues, a group
Buddhist priests and their faithful followers in
the province were taken in, coerced to confess to
crimes that they
did not commit, then finally were
found to be innocent in a famous court case. In
the meantime, the resident
abbot was tortured to death
in 1978. But the case did not go to court until June
2006, twenty-eight years later.
Here is what transpired in the court proceedings:
" I had to yell, 'Blood, blood, please Mr. Tuc, help!
they replied unanimously: 'We'll beat
you to death for it is our charge to beat you. If you
die you will be buried
by the hospital people.
The law is on our side, you know that?'
"I was stripped naked. They
tied me up by my
elbows, then hung me up on the ceiling. Tuc, who was
smoking at the time, kept boring his burning
into my behind, disregarding my cries as I tried to
avoid them and then finally passed out. When I woke
they used a thread to tie up my testicles and jerk
them, causing me intense pain.
It was not just physical pain
but the pain went up to
my brain as I realized that they only considered me
like an animal. When I was near death
thought my organ was about to be torn off from me,
they only laughed: 'You are a monk, what need do you
for that? You might as well throw it away, let
us help you." (Thich Tam Thuong, lay name Le
Van Thuong, writing
in his complaint letter to the
" They had me without food or drink, then hung me
down, then took turns hitting me in my stomach.
For six months I was like a mental case, being
with feces oozing out of my
anus, my mouth bleeding, exactly like in the Middle
Age." (Duong Phuc Thien's declaration
"They stamped all over you making you throw up,
yet you have to eat what you just threw
they would beat you to death." (Declaration of
notice Thich Dao Son, born Nguyen Quy Doan)
"You had to eat dead rats, dead cockroaches,
because if you don't they would torture you, pulling
out your tongue some
ten inches out of your mouth."
(Declaration of Layman Duong Phuc Thinh)
"In just this one case alone, there
was no evidence
whatsoever but the behavior of the investigators
towards the defendants is enough to
show that the
Bac Giang legal authorities were acting
to the detriment of the people, totally against their
interest: they would beat
the innocent until they
confess to being criminals, the reasoning behind the
charges is opaque, roundabout and even
setting up of false testimony (each person was paid
500,000 dong per testimony), and the running of
the trial, using police forces in strength, including
the use of German shepherds"
For more information,
Vietnam Human Rights Network:
Nguyen Ngoc Bich at: email@example.com
Nguyen Thanh Trang at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contacting the White House.
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Please send your comments to email@example.com. Due to the large volume of e-mail received, the White House cannot respond to every message. For further up-to-date
information on Presidential initiatives, current events, and topics of interest to you, please continue to use the White House
Vice President Richard Cheney: firstname.lastname@example.org
Terrorists Turn Vietnamese (2,000 Home) Village Into An Ashtray
PTSD Disabled Vietnam Veteran Calls Out New Jersey's Supreme
Court To Do The Right Thing...
----- Original Message -----
Veterans who patrolled the waters off Vietnam can claim disability benefits for exposure to Agent Orange
Court Expands Agent Orange Coverage
By MATT APUZZO
The Associated Press
Friday, August 18, 2006; 10:20 PM
WASHINGTON -- Veterans who patrolled the waters off Vietnam can claim disability benefits for exposure to
Agent Orange under an appeals court ruling that opens the door for thousands of servicemen to seek medical coverage.
The ruling was handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in the case of a former sailor
who served on an ammunition ship during the Vietnam War but never stepped foot on land.
The court's order, issued Wednesday, reverses the Veterans Affairs Department's denial of benefits for
Jonathan L. Haas, who blamed his diabetes, nerve damage and loss of eyesight on exposure to Agent Orange.
Haas argued that clouds of the toxic defoliate, which the U.S. sprayed on Vietnamese jungles, drifted out
to sea, engulfing his ship and landing on his skin.
Veterans officials said that to qualify for coverage, Haas was required to have docked in Vietnam and come
The three-judge panel said regulations governing the benefits were unclear. The court said it made no sense
for veterans who patrolled Vietnam's inland waterways and those simply passing through the country to receive medical coverage
while those serving at sea do not.
"Veterans serving on vessels in close proximity to land would have the same risk of exposure to the herbicide
Agent Orange as veterans serving on adjacent land, or an even greater risk than that borne by those veterans who may have
visited and set foot on the land of the Republic of Vietnam only briefly," Judge William A. Moorman wrote.
The Veterans Affairs Department said Friday that it was reviewing the opinion and was not sure how many
veterans would be affected or how much the added coverage would cost.
Most Vietnam combat veterans receive some medical benefits, but if their illnesses are related to their
service, they could receive full coverage and their families might be eligible for benefits.
David Houppert, director of veteran's benefits for the Vietnam Veterans of America, said the ruling could
allow thousands of veterans to seek coverage for service-related illnesses. Most are Navy veterans, he said, but some Marines
and Army veterans could be affected.
Houppert said the group was encouraging these veterans to seek coverage quickly because the ruling left
it up to government officials whether to change federal regulations in a way that could deny coverage.
Event will call for reform of VA benefits
NEWARK: Activists with Operation Firing For Effect will hold a demonstration calling for congressional reform
of Department of Veterans Affairs benefits Sept. 6 at Washington Park in Newark.
Entertainer and Navy veteran Bill Cosby will speak at the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. event, said Don V. Scholtes of
Mantoloking, the New Jersey state chairman for Operation Firing For Effect.
The group organized early this year to press Congress for full funding of veterans benefits and medical care.
For information about the march, call Scholtes at (732) 701-0408.
PTSD Disabled Vietnam Veteran Calls Out New Jersey's Supreme Court To Do
The Right Thing...