My Daughter 'Would Have Been Deemed Innocent if it Were in a Free Nation'

vietnam-mother-mushroom-may-2013.jpg Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (R) distributes copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Nha Trang, capital of Khanh Hoa province, on the South Central Coast of Vietnam, May 21, 2013.
Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh

Nguyen Thi Tuyet Lan, the mother of popular blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, who writes under the pen name Mother Mushroom, has made a public appeal following her daughter's arrest on Oct. 10.  Quynh co-founded the Network of Vietnamese Bloggers, one of the few independent writers’ associations in a country where the news media and publishing industry are tightly controlled by the governing Communist Party, and had blogged extensively about the Formosa Plastics Group steel plant chemical spill in April that killed tons of marine life and left fishermen and tourism industry workers jobless in four provinces.

On Oct. 10, my daughter was arrested by the Khanh Hoa provincial police and accused of propagandizing against the state of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam according to Article 88 of the Penal Code. She is being kept in the Khanh Hoa provincial police’s detention station.

After Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh’s arrest, our family has received sympathy and attention from friends inside and outside of Vietnam. Some international human rights groups and media have raised my daughter’s case. As the mother of a daughter who was arrested for her fight against injustice and protection of sovereignty, democracy and the environment, I really need more support from you who can raise your voices demanding freedom and justice for Quynh.

My daughter, blogger Mother Mushroom, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, would have been deemed innocent if it were in a free nation. For her advocacy for human rights, environmental protection and helping others who were imprisoned wrongly, she was arrested, leaving behind two children aged four and 10, who miss their mother every day.

Since the police came to our house to arrest Quynh, our family has always lived in fear. I write this letter to call on your attention to the arrest of my daughter. Please raise your voices together with us to demand justice for Mother Mushroom.

It's been three months since her arrest and we have not received any news about my daughter. At the time of her arrest, she told me that she would go on a hunger strike and would not say anything until she met her lawyer. We have sent a petition to ask for a lawyer twice, but they denied our request.

They invited me to meet with them on Oct. 17 and Oct. 25. They rejected assigning lawyers based on Article 58, which says that during detention, a lawyer is not allowed. I asked to see a working report. They told me that I could only look at it there, but could not take it with me. On Oct. 25, I told them that I had read the penal code and there is no sentence about not providing a working report and so I asked for the document but they did not give it to me.

I want everybody and international community to help and be with us demanding freedom and justice for Quynh. It is not only for Quynh but for everybody.

Reported by Gia Minh for RFA's Vietnamese Service. Translated by Viet Ha.


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