Law enforcement is weak in Vietnam

ACAT - Germany

Because of its particular topicality, the emergency action on the Philippines was published in advance in May. It is still possible and desirable to participate.


 

Philippines: detained minors, State of health, torture and ill-treatment


Background information



Philippines: 83.0 million inhabitants on an area of ​​approx. 300,000 km², GNP / inh. $ 2,470 (2012), 40% Young Malay Filipinos, 30% Indonesians and Polynesians, 10% Old Malay and Aëta, 10% Chinese, 5% Indian, religion: 82% Catholics, 5.4% Protestants, 4.6% Muslims, 2 , 6% followers of the Independent Philippine Church (Aglipayan), 2.3% followers of the Iglesia ni Cristo, indigenous religions, Buddhists. Independent since 1947. The Philippines have the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment ratified.

In view of the spread of the corona virus in the Philippines, the founder of the aid organization fears PREDA (Peoples Recovery, Empowerment and Development Assistance Foundation), Father Shay Cullenthat imprisoned children and young people fall victim to the virus.
The Irish-born Father Shay Cullen (Mission Society of St. Columban) was a guest at the ACAT seminar in Schwerte in 2018 and reported in an impressive manner on his diverse commitment to the release of minors from prisons and from child prostitution.
Shay Cullen recently published an appeal that ACAT is taking as an occasion for an emergency response. Due to the fact that it is up to date, we will publish this before it is dispatched in June. PREDA calls for the release of imprisoned children from juvenile detention centers called Bahay Pag-Asa ("House of Hope"). In addition to the health situation, there is also violence by staff and among the prisoners.

On the fate of the minors, Father Shay Cullen writes:
“Many thousands have been detained with no evidence or charge against them. Many are imprisoned for minor offenses. The coronavirus puts them in grave danger of suffering a painful and desperate death. They die panting from slow suffocation, alone, abandoned, unaided, unknown, isolated and unreported, as if they never existed.
Children are most vulnerable as they are weakened by malnutrition, afflicted by asthma or tuberculosis, and harmed and injured by physical and sexual abuse. They are imprisoned in inhumane conditions. Most of them sleep on concrete floors and in inhumane conditions. They are without education, exercise, sunlight, fresh air, good food, medical help, legal assistance, entertainment, visitors, showers and toilets. It is a desperate and dangerous situation. You need to be released immediately. (...)

The Filipino law enforcement system is very weak, arbitrary, and in general there is a lot of abuse of authority. The law is there to protect, not to punish unjustly. Yes, the dangerous criminals - murderers and rapists - need to be imprisoned to protect the public, but not the children, especially not when the coronavirus is around.
This is the great hidden scandal of the local government - the torture of children in Bahay Pag-Asa.
They need to be overhauled and brought into line with the guidelines of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC). "

Detailed information about the situation in prisons and case studies in English can be found at:
www.preda.org/2020/free-the-child-prisoners-before-they-die/

Further information in German at: www.tatort-verein.org/engagement/philippinen/kinder-hinter-gittern/

 



Letter text

Please sign the letters to the Minister of the Interior and the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of the Philippines. Send both appeals, preferably in one envelope, to the ambassador to Berlin. Please take over that Wording of the letters unchanged. Mailing to the Philippines is currently suspended. The address can be found on the template (postage to Berlin: 0.80 EUR). Processing as soon as possible, no later than 06/30/2020. [Fax no. the embassy: 030/8732551, I.E. Ms. Maria Theresa Dizon-De Vega; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. To display JavaScript must be turned on! ]

 




I.E. Mrs. Maria Theresa Dizon-De Vega
Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines
Luisenstrasse 16
10117 Berlin

 

Excellence,
With the letter below I would like to draw the attention of the Minister of the Interior and Local Government of the Republic of the Philippines to the threats to minors detained in detention centers such as the Bahay Pag-Asa and ask for their release.
Sincerely

 

Appeal to the Minister of the Interior and Local Government the Republic of the Philippines,
Mr Eduardo Año

 

Dear Minister,

I turn to you with great concern about the fate of minors imprisoned in the Philippines.
Many thousands of minors have been detained without charge or evidence against them. In addition, many are arrested for minor offenses. The coronavirus puts them in grave danger of suffering a painful and desperate death.
Children are most vulnerable as they are weakened by malnutrition, afflicted by asthma or tuberculosis, and harmed and injured by multiple physical and sexual abuse.
They are imprisoned under inhumane conditions. According to reports, minors in Bahay Pag-Asa juvenile detention centers have been subjected to widespread ill-treatment by staff and severe violence among residents.

In view of the particular threat posed by the coronavirus, I appeal to you to use your influence to ensure that minors are released immediately, unconditionally and permanently from prisons and the Bahay Pag-Asa.
I also ask you to close these shelters and to work with the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC) under the direction of the Minister for Social Welfare and Development. Rehabilitation facilities should be created for children and adolescents, in which they are effectively protected from inhumane treatment.

Thank you very much for the attention you are showing my concern.
Sincerely yours

 

 

I.E. Mrs. Maria Theresa Dizon-De Vega
Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines
Luisenstrasse 16
10117 Berlin

 

Excellence,
With the letter below I would like to alert the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of the Republic of the Philippines to the threats faced by minors imprisoned in detention centers such as the Bahay Pag-Asa and ask him to look into their fate.
Sincerely

 

Appeal to the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of the Republic of the Philippines, Mr. José Luis Martín C. Gascon

 

Dear Mr. Chairman,

I turn to you with great concern about the fate of minors imprisoned in the Philippines.
Many thousands of minors have been detained without charge or evidence against them. In addition, many are arrested for minor offenses. The coronavirus puts them in grave danger of suffering a painful and desperate death.
Children are most vulnerable as they are weakened by malnutrition, afflicted by asthma or tuberculosis, and harmed and injured by multiple physical and sexual abuse.
They are imprisoned under inhumane conditions. According to reports, minors in Bahay Pag-Asa juvenile detention centers have been subjected to widespread ill-treatment by staff and severe violence among residents.

In view of the particular threat posed by the coronavirus, I appeal to you to work with the responsible authorities to ensure that minors are released immediately, unconditionally and permanently from prisons and the Bahay Pag-Asa.
I would also ask you to suggest that these prisons be closed and that new institutions be created for the rehabilitation of children and young people, in which they are effectively protected from inhuman treatment.

Thank you very much for the attention you are showing my concern.
Sincerely yours



To download the letter as a Word file

 


 

Vietnam: Huynh Duc Thanh Binh et al., Torture, arbitrary and inhuman detention


Background information



Vietnam: 88.7 million inhabitants on an area of ​​331,114 km2, GNP / inh. $ 1,400 (2012), population: 87% Vietnamese, Hmong, Thai, Khmer, Chinese; Religion: over 50% Buddhists, 8-10% Christians (especially Catholics and Protestant "house churches"), 2-4% followers of Hoa Hao, 2% followers of Caodaism, minority of Muslims.
Vietnam has that International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment ratified.

 

Huynh Duc Thanh Binh is a well-known Vietnamese human rights defender.
Born in 1996, the activist studied business law and lived in Ho Chi Minh City before his arrest.
On June 10, 2018, Binh took part in a large and peaceful demonstration against a draft law for special economic zones in Ho Chi Minh City. On July 7th, 2018 he was arrested on the basis of Article 109 of the Criminal Code relating to “activities against the people's government”. The human rights defender is currently in Xuan Loc Prison in Dong Nai Province. Binh was denied contact with his lawyer on the grounds of national security. On June 24, 2019, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 3 years on probation by the People's Court in Ho Chi Minh City.
Binh is the son of a former political prisoner. His father was arrested again the day after Binh was arrested on charges of covering up his son's activities. Meanwhile the father is free again.
It was recently announced that Binh was mistreated between May 9th and May 12th, 2020. During a visit to his mother in prison on May 12, 2020, when asked, Binh told her how he and others had been beaten and put into solitary confinement. He was then immediately dragged away. As a result, the visit had only lasted 3 minutes. There were bruises on his cheeks below his eyes.

Three bloggers, all born in 1952, were also arrested: Tran Duc Thach (Detained on April 23, 2020, Nghe-An Police Prison), Pham Thanh (imprisoned on May 22, 2020, Hoa-Lo Prison in Ha-Noi) and Nguyen Tuong Thuy (Imprisoned on May 23, 2020, Chi Hoa Prison, Ho Chi Minh City).

Also is still in custody Nguyen Ngoc Anh (DA January 2020). He had expressed himself on the Internet on social and political issues as well as on environmental issues. He was arrested on August 30, 2018 and sentenced by a provincial court on June 6, 2019 to six years' imprisonment with subsequent house arrest of another five years for “propaganda against the state”.
He has suffered repeated violence from inmates in Binh Phu Prison in Ben Tre Province.

Amnesty International also reports extensive reprisals against employees and customers of the independent publishing house Liberal Publishing House (Nha Xuat Ban Tu Do).
On 8 May 2020 the employee Thuy Tuat detained in Ho Chi Minh City from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. the next morning for delivering books. He was beaten during interrogation.

After his release, he went into hiding immediately, despite serious injuries. The police then took his 24 year old daughter and threatened to hold her until Thuy Tuat reports to the police station. The daughter should be free in the meantime. It is to be feared that she will continue to be observed.

 



Letter text

Please write to the General Secretary of the Communist Party and President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and send a copy to the Ambassador in Berlin. The ready-to-sign letter can be used literally or in terms of content - please be polite. The addresses can be found on the template (Postage to Vietnam, airmail, 1.10 EUR; to Berlin 0.80 EUR). Processing within 10 days of receipt of this shipment, at the latest by June 30, 2020. [Fax no. of the embassy: 030/53630200, S.E. Mr. Nguyen Minh Vu; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. To display JavaScript must be turned on! ]

 




H.E. Nguyễn Phú Trọng
2 Hùng Vương
Ba Đình, Hà Nội
VIET NAM

 

Dear Mr President,

I am deeply concerned about reports of reprisals against human rights defenders.
Huynh Duc Thanh Binh was sentenced on June 24th, 2019 by the People's Court in Ho Chi Minh City to 10 years imprisonment and an additional 3 years imprisonment on probation.
Binh was ill-treated in May 2020 in Xuan Loc Prison in Dong Nai Province.
Three bloggers were also recently arrested: Tran Duc Thach was arrested on April 23, 2020. He is being held in the Nghe-An Police Prison. Pham Thanh was arrested on May 22, 2020 and is in Ha-Noi in the Hoa-Lo Prison. Nguyen Tuong Thuy was arrested on May 23, 2020. He is being held in Chi Hoa Prison in Ho Chi Minh City.
Nguyen Ngoc Anh was On June 6, 2019, a provincial court sentenced him to six years' imprisonment and subsequent house arrest for another five years. He suffered severe violence from inmates in Binh Phu Prison in Ben Tre Province.
Also employees and customers of the publishing house Liberal Publishing House (Nha Xuat Ban Tu Do) are persecuted. On May 8th, 2020 the employee Thuy Tuat detained in Ho Chi Minh City for 18 hours and beaten during interrogation. After his release, the police temporarily arrested his 24-year-old daughter in order to force Thuy Tuat to report to the police.

In light of these circumstances, I appeal to you to use your influence on that

  • the physical and mental integrity of all prisoners is guaranteed and they have permanent access to lawyers, doctors and family members;
  • the named prisoners are released immediately, unconditionally and permanently;
  • Members of civil society can pursue their nonviolent engagement without persecution or persecution for them or their families.

Thank you very much for the attention you are showing my concern.
Sincerely yours

 

 

As a copy for your information to:
S.E. Mr. Nguyen Minh Vu
Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Elsenstrasse 3
12435 Berlin

 

Excellence,
In the letter below, which I am sending you as a copy, I would like to draw the attention of the General Secretary of the Communist Party and President of Vietnam to the situation of members of civil society and ask him to take care of their fate.
Sincerely yours



To download the letter as a Word file