We are concerned by the Government of Vietnam’s decision to return long-time human rights defender Father Nguyen Van Ly to prison on July 25. We urge the Government of Vietnam to release him immediately. We welcomed the government’s decision last year to grant Father Ly humanitarian parole following a series of strokes while in solitary confinement. Father Ly suffers from a brain tumor and should continue to be allowed to seek medical treatment.
No individual should be imprisoned for expressing the right to free speech. In September 2010, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention held that Father Ly was denied a fair trial and ruled his detention was arbitrary, in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, and called for his immediate release.
Father Ly is a co-founder of Bloc 8406 and the Vietnam Progression Party. He has spent over 16 years in prison.