Oslo, 8 March 2007
His Excellency Nguyen Minh Triet
President Socialist Republic of Vietnam
C/O Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Dear President Nguyen Minh Triet,
Today, on 8 March 2007 – International Women’s Day – I, as Chair of Writers in Prison Committee of Norwegian PEN, will express my deep concern for the safety and the well-being of Tran Khai Than Thuy, an author and essayist who was arrested briefly in September 2006 for articles that she posted on the internet. She was again briefly detained a few weeks later for publishing further essays.
She is editor of the dissident magazine To Quoc (Fatherland). In October she was subjected to a “People’s Court” in Hanoi where police gathered 300 people to denounce and humiliate her. Her home had been attacked by mobs calling her a traitor and a prostitute. Police refused to provide protection. She is now living under virtual house arrest.
Tran Khai Than Thuy is among this year’s Hellman Hammett Award winners.
The Writers in Prison Committee of Norwegian PEN is seriously concerned about the intimidation of Tran Khai Than, and we are calling for an end to the harassment and restrictions placed against her.
Confident that you, Mr President, will take action accordingly, I remain,
Elisabet W. Middelthon
Chair Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Norwegian Embassy in Vietnam
Embassy of Vietnam in Stockholm