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Nguyen Xuan Tu (Ha Sy Phu)
Ha Sy Phu is the author of
several critiques of the Communist system, a biologist, former
vice-director of the Vietnamese Institute of Science in Dalat, and
member of a group of intellectual dissidents in Dalat. He has become
well known at home and abroad for his political discourses analyzing the
ideological impasses of the Vietnamese Communist Party and the country's
need for democracy as the foundation for national development.
In December, 1995, Ha Sy
Phu was arrested and charged with "revealing state secrets" for being in
possession of a letter from then-Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet to the
Politburo calling for political and economic reforms. He was held
without trial until August 1996, when he was sentenced to one year in
prison and placed in isolation.
Since his release, he
has lived under unofficial house arrest. His house is under
surveillance, and his family is continuously harassed, as are visitors.
Ha Sy Phu is also subjected to monitoring of telephone calls, house
searches, and confiscation of his working materials, including his
computer. On January 4, 2001 it was reported that the house arrest was
over, but on Feb 9, 2001, police in Dalat issued a two-year house arrest
order against him for "making contact with reactionaries living abroad
to sabotage Vietnam, and demanding the overthrow of the socialist regime
and the leadership of the Communist Party."
campaign culminated in Decision 07/QD, delivered on May 12, 2000,
accusing him of treason according to Article 72 of Vietnam's Criminal
Code. Thus far no court has issued an arrest warrant and he has not been
formally charged. If tried and convicted, he could face a sentence
ranging from seven years' imprisonment to the death penalty. Ha Sy Phu
is said to be in poor health and suffer from "hand trembling".
PEN Canada is deeply
concerned about the accusation of treason towards Ha Sy Phu. We are also
concerned about reports of continual harassment of Ha Sy Phu and his
family. We call on the authorities to reverse Decision 07/QD and to
ensure that harassment towards Ha Sy Phu and his family is ceased.
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