human rights defender Ms Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh
human rights defender Ms Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh
human rights defender Ms Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh

Nguyen Tan Dung

Prime Minister
Government Office
1 Hoang Hoa Tham Street
Ba Dinh District
Ha Noi
Viet Nam
Fax: +84 80 44130/ +84 80 44940
[email protected]

Your Excellency,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human rights defender and Freelance journalist.

I would like to draw your attention to the following case.

On 25 July 2015, human rights defender Ms Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh was temporarily detained by police at the Loc Tho ward police station in Nha Trang, and reported being beaten while in custody.

Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh is a blogger and human rights defender. Since 2006, she has been blogging under the pseudonym of Me Nam (Mother Mushroom). She is known for her criticism of the government, including revealing corruption cases and human rights violations committed by the authorities. As a result, she has repeatedly been targeted, including being arrested and physically attacked. In 2014, she received a Human Rights Defender award from the Stockholm-based NGO Civil Rights Defenders.

On 25 July 2015, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh was held for several hours at the Loc Tho ward police station in Nha Trang. During this time, she was questioned and severely beaten by the police officers. She suffered injuries and, upon leaving the police station, she was bleeding from cuts on her face.

The prominent blogger had been arrested in a park in Nha Trang, where she and other human rights defenders and activists planned to hold a public gathering. When they began meditation, plainclothes police officers arrested several participants and brought them to the police station. During the arrest, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh was hit and then dragged into a taxi.

The planned gathering was part of a countrywide one-day hunger strike to draw attention to the human rights violations committed by the government and to request the release of detained human rights defenders. Hundreds of Vietnamese human rights defenders and activists gathered in public areas in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Haiphong and other cities and provinces. Many of the participants reported acts of harassment by the police, including arrests and physical violence.

I express grave concern at the temporary detention and physical violence suffered by human rights defender Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, which I believe to be another attempt to silence human rights defenders in Vietnam and to impede their legitimate work for the promotion of human rights.

I urge the authorities in Vietnam to:

1. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh;

2. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the beating of Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

3. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Vietnam are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.

Sincerely,

William Nicholas Gomes

Human Rights Defender & ?Freelance Journalist

Twitter @wnicholasgomes

Email: [email protected]

www.facebook.com/williamnicholasgomes

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