Vietnam Happy Birthday Le Quoc Quan!
On 27 December 2012, Mr. Le Quoc Quan was arrested by the police in Hanoi while dropping off his daughter at school. The police also searched his office and home and confiscated some documents. They apparently read out a warrant, but did not give it to Mr. Le Quoc Quan’s family. The police told his family that he would be charged under Article 161 of the Criminal Code, which relates to tax evasion. If condemned, he risks three years in prison and a heavy fine.
The trial against Le Quoc Quan was due to take place on 9 July 2013. However, the trial was postponed and it is not yet known on which date this trial will take place.
Like many Vietnamese human rights lawyers, bloggers and activists, Mr. Le Quoc Quan has regularly been subject to arbitrary arrest and has been on constant surveillance. L4L, among other organizations, has reason to believe that this recent arrest of Mr. Le Quoc Quan as well as the previous arbitrary arrests and constant harassment are directly linked to Mr. Le Quoc Quan’s work in the defence of human rights.
L4L has launched broad campaigns in support of Le Qouc Quan. In the last couple of months, L4L, together with a large group of other NGO’s, wrote to several Special Rapporteurs of the United Nations, filed a petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary detention, filed a submission for the Universal Periodic Review of Vietnam at the UN Human Rights Council, wrote letters to US Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama, and wrote to all Ministers of Foreign Affairs of EU-countries, Canada, Australia and Japan to request special attention to the unlawful arrest, detention and the upcoming trial of Le Quoc Quan. L4L will continue to campaign for Le Quoc Quan, until he will be unconditionally released.
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