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Jul-09-2013 21:59printcomments

Vietnam: Letter Sent To High Representative Catherine Ashton ahead of Trial of Human Rights Defender Le Quoc Quan

Mr. Le Quoc Quan is a qualified lawyer and active blogger. On his popular blog he exposes human rights abuses commonly ignored by Vietnamese state media.

Mr. Le Quoc Quan
Mr. Le Quoc Quan

(YORK, UK) - Prominent Vietnamese lawyer, blogger and human rights defender Mr. Le Quoc Quan, was the subject of unlawful arrest and detention.

Mr. Le Quoc Quan is currently arbitrarily detained due to having exercised his right to freedom of expression, his right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, as well as his activities as a human rights defender.

Mr. Le Quoc Quan is a qualified lawyer and active blogger. On his popular blog he exposes human rights abuses commonly ignored by Vietnamese state media.

Prior to being disbarred in 2007, Le Quoc Quan defended human rights cases in court. Upon his return from the United States, he was arrested in 2007 and detained for 100 days. In April 2011, he was arrested again and ultimately released without charges.

In this letter to Baroness Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Vice-President of the European Commission, our Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes appeals for a high-level delegation to attend the 9 July trial.


Baroness Catherine Ashton
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Vice-President of the European Commission
200, rue de la Loi
B-1049 Brussels
BELGIUM

Email: Nabila.MASSRALI@ec.europa.eu

1 July 2013

Re: Mr. Le Quoc Quan and his upcoming trial on 9 July 2013

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com.

I respectfully request your special attention to the unlawful arrest and detention of the prominent Vietnamese lawyer, blogger and human rights defender Mr. Le Quoc Quan.

As you may know, Mr. Le Quoc Quan is currently arbitrarily detained due to having exercised his right to freedom of expression, his right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, as well as his activities as a human rights defender.

Mr. Le Quoc Quan is a qualified lawyer and active blogger. On his popular blog he exposes human rights abuses commonly ignored by Vietnamese state media. Prior to being disbarred in 2007, Mr. Le Quoc Quan defended human rights cases in court. Upon his return from the United States, he was arrested in 2007 and detained for 100 days. In April 2011, he was arrested again and ultimately released without charges.

In August 2012, Mr. Le Quoc Quan was severely injured in a violent attack, that may have involved state agents. On 27 December 2012, Mr. Le Quoc Quan was arrested and charged for alleged ‘tax evasion’.

These charges are widely seen as ill-founded and brought for the extra-legal purpose of silencing Mr. Le Quoc Quan. His detention pending trial of these charges violates the liberty provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The United Nations Human Rights Committee has determined compliance with the ICCPR.

Article 9 requires that pre-trial detention be used only in exceptional circumstances where established risks to public safety and/or the integrity of the legal systems cannot be adequately contained by any other means.

I know of no evidence on any risk posed to the public or the integrity of the Vietnamese legal system by Mr. Le Quoc Quan being free.

Further, he was detained incommunicado for the first two months and is still imprisoned for the time being. His trial will take place in the People's Court of Hanoi on 9 July 2013. We understand that his trial is public.

Mr. Le Quoc Quan is on the European Union's list of Prisoners of Concern.

The presence of international observers may encourage the Vietnamese Government to respect their international human rights obligations.

I therefore respectfully request you to send a high-level delegation to attend the 9 July trial.

In addition, we urge you to raise your concerns with the Vietnamese Government and request for the immediate and unconditional release of Le Quoc Quan.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need any additional information.

Yours Sincerely,
William Nicholas Gomes
Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com
www.williamnicholasgomes.com

http://williamnicholasgomes.com/

Donate to: williamgomes.org@gmail.com

______________________________

Salem-News.com Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes is a Bangladeshi journalist, human rights activist and author was born on 25 December, 1985 in Dhaka. As an investigative journalist he wrote widely for leading European and Asian media outlets.

He is also active in advocating for free and independent media and journalists’ rights, and is part of the free media movement, Global Independent Media Center – an activist media network for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate telling of the truth. He worked for Italian news agency Asianews.it from year 2009 to 2011, on that time he was accredited as a free lance journalist by the press information department of Bangladesh. During this time he has reported a notable numbers of reports for the news agency which were translated into Chinese and Italian and quoted by notable number of new outlets all over the world.He, ideologically, identifies himself deeply attached with anarchism. His political views are often characterized as “leftist” or “left-wing,” and he has described himself as an individualist anarchist.

_________________________________________




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