Statement Opposing the Police’s Unlawful Arrest of activist Nguyen Van Oai
Nguyen Van Oai, a former prisoner of conscience, was ambushed and kidnapped by a group of men, later identified as the local security police at 10pm on January 19, 2017. Oai was traveling on Road 36 and was on his way home. After a whole day without knowing where Oai was taken to, his family finally received an official notice from Nguyen Xuan Doan, the Chief of Quynh Vinh Commune Police. The authorities stated that Oai was detained because of two offenses: (1) “resisting persons on duty” and (2) violating his probation.
The ambush arrest of Nguyen Van Oai by Nghe An security police is unlawful, goes against the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and infringes upon Chapter Two of the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. In this regard, the two charges against Oai made by the Nghe An police go against the proceedings of Vietnam’s Penal Code.
We are the Catholic youths that were former prisoners of conscience who maintain our innocence and resist through civil disobedience the arbitrary probation Vietnamese authorities have placed upon us.
We are simply exercising our fundamental civil rights stated in the Vietnamese Constitution. The charges by the Vietnamese government against us are arbitrary and severely infringe upon our basic human rights.
We strongly condemn the arbitrary detention of Nguyen Van Oai by Nghe An police and call for Nguyen Van Oai’s immediate and unconditional release.
We call on governments around the world, organisations and bodies within the United Nations, and human rights organizations to speak out against these human rights violations.
We also call on the support of civil society organisations in Vietnam to speak out against the arbitrary detention of Nguyen Van Oai by the security police.
We urge the Vietnamese and international media to report on the human rights violations of the Vietnamese authorities and Nghe An Police who have unlawfully detained Nguyen Van Oai.
Vietnam, 20 January 2017
Association of Catholic Former Prisoners of Conscience