Cù Huy Hà Vũ was born in 1957 and graduated from the University of Paris. Together with his wife Nguyen Thi Duong Ha, also a lawyer, he runs a law firm in Hanoi.
He is one of Vietnamese most prominent defenders of cultural environmental and human rights in Vietnam. Vu is most famous for his two law suits against the prime minister, the first targeting him for granting a Chinese mining company rights to a bauxite deposit in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. In September and October 2010, Vu filed a law suit against for signing Decision No. 136, a measure that banned citizens from filing lawsuits or complaints against the national government. Both law suits were ignored by the courts.
In addition, Vu is known for his public criticism of high-ranking government officials, as well as advocating democratic reforms and calling for a multiparty system of government.
In November 2010, Vu was arrested and charged with “propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam under the Criminal Code, an offence he allegedly committed by giving interviews to the foreign media. On 4 April 2011 he was convicted to a 7 year prison sentence and an additional 3 year house arrest.
In May 2011, L4L organized a letter writing campaign to make clear to the authorities in Vietnam that the arrest and house arrests contradict internationally recognized rights as well as the ambition of the Vietnamese government in increasing the respect for human rights.
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