Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Democracy Blogger arrested in Vietnam; National Endowment for Democracy Expresses Its Deep Concern to the Government of Vietnam

National Endowment for Democracy 

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a letter to the Prime Minister of Vietnam, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has expressed its deep concern over the Dec. 27 arrest of prominent human rights lawyer and blogger Le Quoc Quan on charges of tax evasion. Quan, who was a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow (2006-2007) at NED in Washington, DC, has written extensively on human rights abuses in Vietnam and has been detained by authorities multiple times on account of his pro-democracy views.

"In the absence of a prompt and fair trial on this charge, it will be hard to avoid the conclusion that this is just the latest incident in a years-long campaign of political intimidation, harassment, and detention imposed upon Quan and his family," wrote NED President Carl Gershman in the letter sent Jan. 4, 2013, to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung . "The facts speak for themselves: two months ago Quan's brother, Le Dinh Quan , was arrested for tax evasion; his cousin, Nguyen Thị Oanh, was arrested just last month. In March 2007, Quan himself was held for nearly four months, and he was detained again in April 2011."

Quan's arrest has drawn international concern and condemnation, including fromFreedom House, The Economist, and the World Organisation Against Torture. To read the full text of the letter from NED President Carl Gershman , visit

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