Thursday, March 26, 2009


Dear Prime Minister,

I have read that lawyer Bui Thi Kim Thanh is being held against her will at a mental hospital where she is being forced to have injections of unknown drugs, and that there is no medical basis for this. Rather, it is believed that the authorities are working to punish her for her work on behalf of an unauthorized pro-democracy organization.

Can all of this be true? I urge you to investigate immediately.

Bui Thi Kim Thanh is a lawyer for the Democratic Party of Vietnam (DPV) (XXI). Police detained her in Ho Chi Minh City on 2 November, and took her to a nearby hospital, where they tried to have her committed. However, two psychiatric doctors reportedly assessed her and concluded that she was not suffering from mental illness. Then the police took her to Bien Hoa Mental Hospital, where she was admitted and remains confined to a room in area 4 of the hospital. She has been described as being unable to talk as a result of the injections.

Authorities reportedly offered her release on condition that she did not speak about her treatment. Since she refused she is no longer allowed to receive any visits. No charges against her have been publicly announced.

Other dissidents also have reportedly been confined to Bien Hoa Mental Hospital for non-medical reasons, and suffered ill-treatment.

It appears under these conditions that Bui Thi Kim Thanh is at risk of torture and ill-treatment. I urge you therefore to immediately investigate, and if these allegations are true, please immediately and unconditionally release her.

Thank you.

Copies: 1. Minister of Public Security 2. Minister of Health 3. Ambassador to USA


Prime Minister:

Nguyen Tan Dung

Office of the Prime Minister

Hoang Hoa Tham

Ha Noi

Socialist Republic of Viet Nam

Fax: 011 844 823 1872 (c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Email: (c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Salutation:Dear Prime Minister

Minister of Public Security:

Le Hong Anh

Ministry of Public Security

44 Yet Kieu Street

Ha Noi

Socialist Republic of Viet Nam

Fax: 011 844 825 2733

Salutation:Dear Minister

Minister of Health:

Tran Thi Trung Chien

Ministry of Health

138A Giang Vo Street

Ban Dinh District

Ha Noi

Socialist Republic of Viet Nam

Fax: 011 844 826 5303

Salutation: Dear Minister


Ambassador Chien Tam Nguyen

Embassy of Vietnam

1233 20th St NW #400

Washington DC 20036

Fax: 1 202 861 0917


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