by Alexander Szyłło
(Translated by CPVW from an article in one of Poland’s largest newspaper, the Gazeta Wyborcza)
President of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Nguyen Sinh Hung and parliament Speaker Ewa Kopacz (5l) during the visit of the delegation of Vietnam in Poland (Photo by Adam Stepien / Newspaper Agency)
-You have become a much stronger country internally, so you can increase the range of civil liberties- the Speaker of the Polish Senate told the President of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Nguyen Sinh Hung, during the today’s meeting.
-There is a very concerning case of three young activists, Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung, Do Thi Minh Hanh and Doan Huy Chuong. Human life can change so fast, I was in a situation very much like theirs- said the Speaker. There are a number of Vietnamese activists that were convicted in 2010 to seven to nine years in jail for what the Vietnamese regimes newspapers refer to as “establishment of the Committee for Protection of Workers similar to Polish organization called Workers’ Defence Committee (KOR).”
Ton Van Anh, a pro-democracy Vietnamese activist from the Association of Free Word said that two of the above mentioned people are not yet 30 year old. –They were involved in organizing assistance for people wronged by the regime; they helped strikers and were involved in formation of Free Trade Unions as well as print and distribution of anti regime leaflets. Official sources stressed that the actions of these individuals were inspired by anti-socialist Vietnamese emigrants to Poland-Ton Van Anh said.
-If it were not such cases, Vietnam would gain more support from the international community- said Bogdan Borusiewicz to the Vietnamese Delegation.
Nguyen Sinh Hung is in Poland at the invitation of the parliament Speaker Ewa Kopacz. Friday was the second day of his visit. Nguyen Sinh Hung, apart from meeting with Bodgan Borusiewicz will be also officially hosted by the Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.
Komorowski will raise the subject of human rights.
Will the President also speak up about the human rights in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam?
-President intends, in addition to issues of economic cooperation, to talk about issues of political transformation-reported Joanna Trzaska Wieczorek from the Office of Bronislaw Komorowski.- President will also talk about issues related to the protection of human and civil rights.
Ton Van Anh:-Vietnamese dictatorship treats such a visit as a propaganda spectacle. Business will be only discussed by the way, with the main objective of the visit being establishing legitimacy of the regime government on the international arena and to show Vietnamese people that the communist government is recognized and accepted by the World.
According to human rights defenders since 2006 there has been deterioration of human rights in Vietnam. –Numbers of incarcerations has increased as well as the duration of sentences. In the recent years there has been a political campaign against the Catholics. There are allegations that Catholics are an international structure which forms a threat against “cosmopolitanism” and threatens to weaken the unity of the nation. “The guest of Speaker Kopacz and President Komorowski is one of the leaders of the campaign”-say Ton Van Anh.
Ewa Kopacz does not reveal if she will voice concern for the prisoners.
The visit began on Thursday with a meeting between Vietnamese Leader of Parliament and Ewa Kopacz. According to the official note on the website of the Polish Parliament the talks focused on “development of bilateral relations, including on the parliamentary level, including experience of the Parliament in transformation of Polish economy and political cooperation between Poland and Vietnam on the international arena”. After the talks, Ewa Kopacz and Nguyen Sinh Hung laid flowers at the commemorative plaque for victims of Smolensk disaster and members murdered during the Second World War.
The program also contains signing an agreement on cooperation between Polish and Vietnamese Parliaments and further conversations with members (there is 18 members and 4 senators in Polish-Vietnam Parliamentary group lead by Jolanta Szczypinska from party PiS).
Wyborcza.pl asked the chancery, whether Ewa Kopacz intends to raise the issue of violations of human rights by the Vietnamese regime. This topic is not mentioned on the official pages.-List of topics is on the parliamentary site, I have no further comments-say Iwona Sulik, a spokesperson for Ewa Kopacz.
Hundreds of political prisoners
According to Human Rights Watch, there are hundreds of political prisoners in Vietnam. Since 1975 to this day Buddhist leaders are held under house arrest, including Peace Nobel Price Nominee Trich Quang Do. Almost all the time since 1975 a catholic priest Tadeusz Nguyen Van Ly has been incarcerated and is now seriously ill.
January this year saw a conclusion of one of the largest “showpiece” court cases of recent years: 14 bloggers, writers and social activists were sentenced from 3 to 13 years in jail. Alleged charges: participation in pro-democracy organization Viet Tan. Court justified the sentence by implying that those sentenced “acted towards overthrowing the people’s administration”, “destruction of national unity” and “cultivated propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”. Among the convicts were Catholics affiliated with the Order of Redemptionist. Convicted revealed glaring examples of corruption of government officials and illegal confiscation of land by the government. They also acted on behalf of disabled and the poor pointing out to the government their failure to act on these issues.
-We Poles have a debt incurred during the communist era-said Miroslaw Chojecki, co-founder of KOR and the Independent Publishing House “NOWA”.- Politicians from Western Democracies called for rights of Polish dissidents. This among other pressures lead to amnesties for polish political prisoners. Today we have a chance to pay off this debt, calling for the rights of the Vietnamese.