Vietnam: Amnesty International Calls on Vietnamese Authorities to Release Dr. Nguyen Dan Que

Press Release
February 28, 2011

Vietnam: Amnesty International Calls on Vietnamese Authorities to Release Dr. Nguyen Dan Que

Amnesty International Press Release
For Immediate Release
Monday, February 28, 2011

Amnesty International Calls on Vietnamese Authorities
to Release Dr. Nguyen Dan Que

Contact: AIUSA media relations office, 202-509-8194

(Washington, DC) -- On Saturday, February 26, the Ho Chi Minh City Police Investigation Agency arrested Dr. Nguyen Dan Que, an endocrinologist and political and human rights activist. In an official media report, the Vietnamese authorities described him as being caught "red-handed keeping and distributing documents" calling for the overthrow of the government.

The police seized documents and a computer from his home. Article 79 in the national security section of the 1999 Penal Code provides for between five years and life imprisonment, or the death penalty for "overthrowing" the state.

Donna Guest, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific deputy director issued the following quotes in response to the above situation:

"Amnesty International is shocked to learn that Nguyen Dan Que has been arrested yet again. Dr Que is a staunch and peaceful defender of human rights and free speech, for which he has paid a heavy price, including spending almost 20 years in prison.”

“Media reports suggest that his arrest may be linked to a statement he made in the last week calling for people to rise up against the government, with a reference to the democracy movements in the Middle East and North Africa. It also seems to be no coincidence that his arrest comes on the same day that an article by Dr. Que critical of the Vietnamese authorities’ position on human rights was published in the Washington Post,” said Donna Guest.

“Dr. Que has never used, nor advocated, violence. The authorities should immediately end its draconian attempts to stifle peaceful dissidents which have seen more than 20 activists jailed in the last 12 months. Amnesty International calls for Dr Que's immediate release,” said Donna Guest.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

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For further information please visit www.amnestyusa.org