Friday, July 24, 2009

Reports on Nguyen Tien Trung, a leader of the Viet Youth for Democracy.

Reports on Nguyen Tien Trung, a leader of the Viet Youth for Democracy.

On 07 July 2009, a day after discharging him from the military service, the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam arrested Nguyen Tien Trung, founder of the Viet Youth for Democracy.

Nguyen Tien Trung is an alumnus of Le Hong Phong High School and HoChiMinh City University of Technology. From 2002, Nguyen Tien Trung attended at the College of INSA in Rennes-France, with the honor in Master degree in information technology (IT). During his study from 2004-2007, he obtained the Eiffel Excellence Scholarship from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In his application for the scholarship, he stressed the desire to contribute his work in wireless technology for Vietnam. He observed and realized the important factor in developing the country by providing the means of communication and information to the rural and remote areas.
While studying in France, Trung has researched and exposed to different sources of ideologies and realizing that the Marxism-Leninism is not appropriate for Vietnam. As a foreign student looking back to the country, he realized and very upset by the current situation in Vietnam, especially corruption, issues of sovereignty on the territory of Vietnam, as well as other social issues of education, health care, and transportation in Vietnam.

Before the Tenth plenum of Communist Party of Vietnam in early 2006, many intellectuals have raised their demand for a political reform in Vietnam. Since there was no voice from the youth in this matter, Trung sent an open letter to Mr. Nguyen Minh Hien, former minister of Education, and a petition to the Tenth Plenum of Communist Party, but he did not received any reply from anyone. He decided to send the letter to the BBC Vietnamese to bring up his point of view as a student from abroad speaking out his freedom of speech and the knowledge that he observed in a democratic society.

After the letter got published from BBC, Trung received many responses and sympathy from individuals inside and outside of Vietnam. As his name get recognized by the vast majority of the Vietnamese people, the authorities also sent public security agents to his home and threatening his life and his family’s safety.

On 08 May 2006, together with his friends and colleagues of the same political aspirations, he founded Viet Youth for Democracy, with the objective of advocating for democracy for Vietnam by peaceful activities.

In the same year of 2006, Trung joined the Democratic Party of Vietnam. The Democratic Party of Vietnam had existed since 1944, but it was disbanded by the Communist Party in 1988.
In 2006, the Democratic Party of Vietnam was reactivated by its former Secretary General Hoang Minh Chinh, and since then has been run by a new generation of leaders, with the independence from any other political party.

The political view of the Democratic Party of Vietnam and the Viet Youth for Democracy is peaceful and moderate.

In August 2007, after graduated with a Master degree in Computer Science in France, Trung returned to Vietnam. He continued to write, and met with people of the same political ideals, foreign governments’ representatives in Vietnam, to advocate for democratizing Vietnam.
In March 2007, even though he attended the MBA program at Hoa Sen University and was employed by a French Computing Company in Saigon, he was called up for the military service. In his file, he specified clearly that he had been a member of the Democratic Party of Vietnam. Nonetheless, the government has still drafted him, also confirmed his good ethics and appropriate qualities to serve in the military.

In the military, Trung was frequently convoked and questioned by the military security forces about his political activities. The military repeatedly pressed him to recite the Ten Oaths of the People’s Army of Vietnam, the content of which obligated the soldiers to pledge allegiance to the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Socialism. Meanwhile, he was forced to write a statement to renounce his adherence to the Democratic Party of Vietnam. He has never complied to these demands.

On 6 July 2009, the regiment of Gia Dinh where he had stationed discharged him. The morning of 07 July 2009, the policemen came and searched his home and confiscated Trung’s computer, his parents’ cell phones and cut off all communications to his house. The policemen then arrested him, with the accusation of propagating against the State, under Article 88 of the Criminal Code.
The activities of Trung, as well as that of former Lieutenant Colonel Tran Anh Kim, Lawyer Le Cong Dinh and CEO Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, have always been peaceful. To criminalize peaceful political dissent is violating the Constitution of Vietnam and the public international law.

The Viet Youth for Democracy believes that these arrests are purely of political act. In consequences, the pressure from the international community, individuals, associations inside as well as outside the country will put pressure on the Vietnamese government to free these detainees.

We are asking for your help!

The trend of evolution of the world nowadays is to move towards the respect of basic values of humanity. The unlawful and absurd arrests that the Vietnamese government has made recently have shown that the Vietnamese government is acting against the tide of history.
Your voice to stop these acts, so that the Vietnamese people will have the opportunity to live in a society where the rule of law is observed and human rights are respected, is appreciated.
Thank you all very much.

The Viet Youth for Democracy
July 2009