HANOI, Vietnam – A Vietnamese-American and two Vietnamese nationals will be put on trial on charges of terrorism for allegedly planning to distribute anti-government pamphlets in Vietnam, an official said Thursday.
Nguyen Quoc Quan, of Sacramento, and Vietnamese nationals Nguyen Hai and Nguyen The Vu face jail terms of up to seven years if convicted. Their trial begins Tuesday at the People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City, Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Dung said.
The three were arrested last November at a house in Ho Chi Minh City along with Truong Van Ba, an American, and Nguyen Thi Thanh Van, a French national. Authorities allegedly found them preparing to circulate anti-government pamphlets on behalf of Viet Tan, a California-based pro-democracy group that Vietnam considers a terrorist organization.
Viet Tan says it promotes nonviolent political change in Vietnam, and U.S. Ambassador Michael Michalak has said he has seen no evidence the group is engaged in terrorism.
The Vietnamese government still engages in wholesale slaughter and imprisonment of anyone who objects vocally, or in print, against the brutal regime.
Once entrance to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was safely obtained at the beginning of the year, the Hnaoi government has begun once again to tighten its grip on political and religious freedom, a grip it had been forced to loosen during entry negotiations. Thus the arrest of people with diverging political ideals to the Party have begun once more. As in the case of Fr Nguyen Van Ly condemned to 8 years in prison and the lawyer Nguyen Van Dai who is waiting his trial. Both are part of the so called “8406 Block”, a democratic movement which first appeared in April of last year.
404 members of US Congress have voted unanimously for resolution number 243, calling on Vietnam to unconditionally free both men along with all politic prisoners. “Vietnam’s government – comments an elderly Hanoi citizen – should greatly improve human rights conditions. Instead it hasn’t freed anyone, in fact its preparing other arrests”.
The communist utopia in Southeast Asia sure hasn’t changed much since Jane Fonda’s buddies took over in 1975.