On Sunday morning, around 8:30 am, 10 political prisoners along with about 1000 common prisoners staged a protest against the oppressive and inhuman conditions in K1, Xuan Loc prison, Dong Nai province. Protesters held colonel Ho Phi Thang, the manager of Xuan Loc prison.
At around midday, these prisoners were able to make contact with the outside world and record their messages. Their phone line was then immediately cut off. Since then, we have not been able to gather information or make contact.
Monday morning, Thanh Nien reported that the Ministry of Public Security has mobilized security forces from Thu Duc prison and Huy Khien prison; riot police of Dong Nai province; fire marshals and security police from Xuan Loc. It appears that order was restored by yesterday evening.
Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, musician Viet Khang, Pastor Phan Ngoc Tuan, Tran Hoang Giang, Nguyen Ngoc Cuong, Huynh Minh Tri are among the many religious and political prisoners imprisoned at Xuan Loc prison.
We are currently arranging for their family to visit them at Xuan Loc. But we understand that they have been kept in inhuman conditions and mistreated on a daily basis.
The reasons why this group of political prisoners have stood up against these prison officals include:
1/ Food and water have been consistently withheld;
2/ Prisoners have been forced to undergo harsh manual labor;
3/ Prisoners have been beaten and tortured;
4/ Food rations and gifts given by families to the prisoners have been stolen by officials
We urgently call on the international diplomatic missions in Hanoi and ask the government of Vietnam to:
1 / Improve the living conditions of prisoners;
2 / Cease the beating and torturing of prisoners;
3 / Terminate the use of forced labor;
4 / Provide adequate food and water to prisoners; stop withholding food as a form of punishment;
5 / Allow other diplomatic missions, international organizations to visit and investigate the conditions at Xuan Loc prison in Dong Nai province, as well as a number of other prisons.
Lawyer Nguyen Van Dai
Here is the link of the audio that we recorded the voices of some political priconers:
The below is the English version that we have been translated from prisoners’ voices:
Audio of political prisoners’ voices at Xuan Loc prison, during a protest against the inhuman treatment of the camp officials (rough translation):
We are now imprisoned in the camp, demanding for human rights. The government allows some cadres (1) to oppress us, beating us; (2) forces us to buy rotten food, spoiled foods; 3) forces us to do things that they want us to do although we do not want to do.
So almost all prisoners decide to protest to demand for human rights . We call upon the community, the press inside and outside Vietnam to speak up for us, to protect us. We want to let everybody know that we are here in the camp, the political prisoners, including Trần Huỳnh Duy Thức, Nguyễn Ngọc Tuấn, Nguyễn Ngọc Tường (me), Trần Hoàng Giang, Việt Khang.. we are all in one area, and all the prisoners have been able to break through all barriers, to move around freely and meet one another. We captured the Colonel, one of the camp officials, and he was sitting here in the middle of the yard, being guarded by some of us. We are demanding to meet a higher level cadre, Lieutenant General Đình to demand for our human rights.
I represent my friends here to request the representative of the UN High Commission to come visit us here in the camp so that we can tell him clearly the situation here at the camp. We here are oppressed and not being able to speak out for our rights. I know that after this talk our life here will be worsened and we will be badly treated. But whatever happens to us, we must fight for our voices and rights, and also all the prisoners here want to let the truth being revealed that human rights are never respected as the government wants to tell the world.
And here is the voice of another prisoner, Phan Ngọc Tuấn. I am Phan Ngọc Tuấn, from Ninh Thuận province. At the present time, our situation here is so tense and dangerous. Security forces are brought in and circled around us more and more in number. We do not know what they are going to do to us, but the danger is very great. For us, we will unify to have one voice in our demanding. We also urge you outside community to speak out on behalf of us to defend us.
The interviewer’s voice: Can you tell us the names of the political prisoners who are circled by the police right now?
Prisoner’s voice: We are here including Nguyễn Ngọc Cường, Trần Huỳnh Duy Thức, Phan Ngọc Tuấn, Nguyễn Hoàng Quốc Hùng, Hoàng Giang, Võ Minh Trí (Việt Khang) . We are very concerned on the oppression of the camp’s cadres toward us and other political prisoners. We would like to speak out and call upon international human rights organizations to pay attention to our situation and help us have basic human rights. I will let Việt Khang to speak to you. But in waiting, here is another political prisoner, Mr. Huỳnh Minh Trí.
Huỳnh Minh Trí: I am a political prisoner having been imprisoned for 14 years. Here in the camp we do not have any human right, they do not consider us as human beings. Even on Saturdays, a day off, they handcuffed me all day long in the cultural room, they give me rice with a lot of sand, I cannot eat, and if I do not eat, they do not allow me to drink water. They violate human rights so bluntly. They force us to do hard labor, beat us harshly. They beat some prisoners to death and say that they die out of HIV. We call upon the international community to pay attention to these violations of human rights and to help us.