July 30, 2012 in Campaigns
Guest post by May Tran
One year ago, Nguyen Van Oai, was one of the first three young activists to be arrested in a large crackdown on 18 human rights defenders in Vietnam.
A member of the Most Holy Redeemer Congregation and Yen Ha Parish, Nguyen Van Oai was also a factory worker rights activists, and a reporter and citizen journalist. Vietnamese police raided his home on August 3rd, 2011. He is currently detained at the B14 Detention Center in Thanh Tri Hanoi.
July 30th, 2012 marks the first anniversary of this crackdown. All were arbitrarily arrested, without warrants, nor notice to their families. It is appalling that one year has already passed with all of these activists still detained, many without access to legal representation.
It is very difficult for those living under oppressive regimes to speak up. Those of us who live in places where we are able to, should be the voices for those who cannot. Human rights is something we must all protect.
Today, I urge you to take action. Activists, like Nguyen Van Oai, deserve to be recognized as contributing members of society. They are not dangerous “terrorists” who are trying to overthrow the government. They’ve participated in anti-China protests to protect the sovereignty of our homeland and they participate in activities that improve the country overall, such as factory worker rights.
You can take action by raising awareness within your circles, and joining the “Speak Up Now!” campaign, a call-to-action that brings attention to all imprisoned Vietnamese human rights defenders and works to mobilize the international community to call for their freedom.
Note from the editor:
As the one year anniversary of arrest dawns on each imprisoned activist, we will feature a guest post from student leaders around the world. Each guest post will be published on the date of arrest of each individual activist – in the form of a poem, image, blog post, or creative writing piece. We will tell the world that their work is not forgotten, that their struggle will continue on. Learn more about the “Speak Up Now!” Campaign.
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