2003 Report by the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Theo van Boven

Viet Nam

Urgent appeals

1954. On 18 March 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression on behalf of Tran Khue, a write who had reportedly been detained incommunicado since 8 March 2002 in Ho Chi Minh City. It was believed that his arrest is part of a campaign against intellectuals who have been openly criticizing recent border agreements between China and Vietnam.

1955. By letter dated 5 April 2002, the Government qualified as falsified the information brought to its attention and informed the Special Rapporteur that Tran Khue had never been arrested or put in custody.

1956. On 24 July 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression on behalf of Nguyen Vu Binh, a former journalist who worked for almost 10 years for Tap Chi Cong San (Journal of Communism) before joining in January 2001 an independent opposition party called the Liberal Democratic Party. He had reportedly been arrested in Hanoi on 20 July 2002 and was being held incommunicado at the local precinct. On the same eveing, he was released. On 21 July, he was reportedly re-arrested. His current whereabouts were unknown. On 6 July 2002, Binh and 16 other writers, retired government officials, and relatives of detained journalists reportedly wrote an open letter addressed to the country's top leaders. The letter supported political reforms and called for the release of several prisoners held on alleged political charges.

1957. By letter dated 13 November 2002, the Government responded that he had been arrested in accordance with Article 80 of the Criminal Code and that he will be put to trial upon completion of the investigation procedures.


1958. The Special Rapporteur considers it appropriate to draw attention to the concern expressed by the Human Rights Committee in its consideration of the second periodic report of the Viet Nam in July 2002 under the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in which the Committee expressed its concern about the fact that “the legal right of detainees to access to counsel, medical advice and members of the family is not always respected in practice.” (CCPR/CO/75/VNM, para. 13)

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small logo   This report has been published by Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights on August 2, 2005.