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ATTORNEY URGENT  ALERT

 

VIETNAM

 

13 June  2009  
 
 

URGENT ALERT

 
        
   

Prominent human rights lawyer and former deputy president of the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association

Lê Công Dinh

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arrested

for having been found with a copy of a new constitution he wrote aiming to replace the current one.

In November 2007 he represented human rights lawyers Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan. 

 

UPDATE : On 1 July 2009, the deputy head of the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association told journalists that it had disbarred and that the Ministry of Justice had revoked his licence, forbidding him to practice law.

 

Sources : Protectionline & BBC 

    

TAKE ACTION NOW !

 

 

Human rights lawyer Le Cong Dinh, 41,  was arrested at his office in Ho Chi Minh City on 13 June by Public Security police for "colluding with domestic and foreign reactionaries to sabotage the Vietnamese state" by publishing documents distorting the country's socio-economic policies, a senior security official said. He has been charged with “conducting propaganda” against the state, under Article 88 of the Penal Code. He was alleged to have been found with a copy of a new constitution he wrote aiming to replace the current one.  The police said they will charge Mr Dinh with Article 88 of the Vietnam's Criminal Code for distributing anti-government materials.

He is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression.

The Investigation Agency of the Ministry of Public Security told a press conference the day he was arrested that Le Cong Dinh had “connived with overseas subversives to publish documents distorting the socio-economic policies” of the government. Officials also accused him of communicating with international media, including the BBC and Radio Free Asia, and of conveying “distorted” information about the rule of law in Viet Nam in the course of his work as a defence lawyer.

If convicted, he faces a three- to 20-year prison sentence

Le Cong Dinh is a prominent lawyer and former deputy president of the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association. He runs a private law firm in Ho Chi Minh City.  In recent years, Mr Dinh defended some of Vietnam's leading human rights and democracy activists, such as fellow lawyers Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan, who have also been jailed for anti-government activity, our correspondent said. Le Cong Dinh   He is a well-respected member of the Vietnamese and international legal communities, and a former Fulbright scholar.

In November 2007 he represented human rights lawyers Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan, two other prominent prisoners of conscience, at the appeal court hearing against their sentences. At the hearing he and other lawyers argued that Article 88, under which the two were charged, is unconstitutional and contravenes international human rights treaties that Viet Nam has ratified, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and should therefore be reviewed. He also represented Nguyen Hoang Hai, a blogger known as Dieu Cay, who was tried in September 2008 on politically motivated criminal charges for writing critical articles and calling for human rights.Le Cong Dinh has also been an outspoken critic of recent bauxite-extraction in the Central Highlands, as well as calling for political reform in Viet Nam.

Married to a former Miss Vietnam, Mr Dinh is also known as a charismatic and active writer and columnist, whose commentaries on Vietnam's politics and current affairs appeared in many publications and online forums overseas. Mr Dinh rose to prominence when he represented Vietnam's interests in the so-called "catfish battle" where US farmers accused the Vietnamese of dumping cheap seafood on the US market.

 

PLEASE ACT NOW.

SENT THE IDHAE LETTER (Addresses below)

 

[votre nom  ici]

 

Monsieur le Président,

Monsieur le Ministre,


Je  tiens à vous exprimer mon émotion à la suite de la  nouvelle  de l'arrestation de Me Le Cong Dinh, avocat spécialisé dans la défense des droits de l'homme et ancien vice président de l'ordre des avocats
d’Ho Chi Minh-Ville , arrêté le 13 juin dans son cabinet uniquement pour avoir exercé pacifiquement son droit à la liberté d’expression.

 

Il m'apparaît qu'une circulation libre de l'information et le partage d'idées sont vitaux pour le développement à long terme de la société

Je suis en outre préoccupé(e)  par les   conditions dans lesquelles il est détenu, apparemment sans accès à un avocat, ainsi que par la diffusion par la télévision et les médias nationaux d'un clip de trois minutes dans lequel M. Dinh lit soi-disant une confession.

 

Je demande donc instamment au gouvernement vietnamien :

de bien vouloir libérer immédiatement et sans condition, et à abandonner les charges retenues contre lui ;

de modifier ou d’abroger les dispositions du Code pénal de 1999 qui érigent en infraction la contestation politique pacifique ;

de  faire respecter les droits à la liberté d’expression et d’association, conformément aux traités relatifs aux droits humains que le Viêt-Nam a ratifiés.


Je vous prie de croire, Monsieur le Président, à l’expression de ma considération respectueuse.

.
Je vous prie de croire, Monsieur le Président, à l’expression de ma considération respectueuse.

 

[votre signature ici]

 

 

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in English, Vietnamese, French or your own language: - expressing concern that lawyer and human rights advocate Le Cong Dinh has been arrested under Article 88 of the Penal Code solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression, and is therefore a prisoner of conscience; - calling on the authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally, and drop the charges against him; - calling on them to ensure that he is allowed immediate access to a lawyer of his choosing and his family, and that he is provided with any medical attention he may require; - calling on the authorities to either repeal or amend provisions in the 1999 Penal Code which criminalize peaceful political dissent; - calling on the authorities to uphold the rights to freedom of expression and association, in line with human rights treaties Viet Nam has ratified.

APPEALS TO:

His Excellency  Nguyên Minh Triêt
President de la République
C/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Hanoi
République socialiste du Viêt-Nam Son Excellence  / Monsieur le President de la République,

Nguyên Tân Dung
Premier Ministre
1 Hoang Hoa Tham Street
Hanoi
République socialiste du Viêt-Nam
844 823 1872 (via le ministère des Affaires étrangères)
Courriers électroniques : [Email] (via le ministère des Affaires étrangères)
Formule d’appel : Dear Prime Minister, / Monsieur le Premier Ministre,

Ministre de la Sécurité publique :
Le Hong Anh
Ministry of Public Security
44 Yet Kieu Street
Ha Noi
République socialiste du Viêt-Nam
Fax : + 844 825 2733
Formule d’appel : Dear Minister, / Monsieur le Ministre,

 

Ministre de la Santé :
Tran Thi Trung Chien

Ministry of Health
138A Giang Vo Street Ban Dinh District Ha Noi République socialiste du Viêt-Nam Fax : + 844 826 5303

Formule d’appel : Dear Minister, / Madame la Ministre,

PLEASE ACT NOW.

THANK YOU.

 

 

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