IMAGINE IF I WENT TO JAIL FOR WRITING THIS
for stating my opinion
for promoting what I believe in
for talking badly about IU, or Indiana, or the nation
for critcizing the president like so many openly do
Luckily, I live in a country where I have the luxury of being able to speak freely, to post on blogs and other social media without worrying about my content being censored, or worse, being thrown in jail for my beliefs.
In many other parts of the world, people are not as lucky.
My friend, Huong, is from Vietnam, a country that while claiming to be more open to democracy than ever, oppresses its peoples’ rights to free speech, espeically if it is speech against the government.
Huong’s fiance, Nguyen Tien Trung, and several of his friends and well-known authors, scholars, entreprenuers, and other leaders, such as lawyer Le Cong Dinh, enterpreneur Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, freelance journalists Dieu Cay, Ta Phong Tan, Phan Thanh Hai, have been chastized for speaking out against the Vietnames government and promoting democracy.
They write blogs, post pictures, make films, give speechs, distribute information, or in Trung’s case, form organizations, that support democracy in Vietnam. Nothing they do is violent. Yet still, these activists have been sentenced to anywhere from 2-16 years in jail, all for peacefully promoting democracy. Trung has been sentenced to 7 years in prison.
This week, September 16th, is Trung’s birthday, one he will celebrate in an isolated jail in an isolated country, away from his family and his fiance. We want Trung to know that we are all thinking of him and that we stand in solidarity with him and all other political prisoners.
We are asking that you spread the word today– help educate others about political prisoners. Take a minute to remember the freedoms you have, and remember that those are not universal. We also ask that you wouldsign this petition to show your support.
What more can you do to help? Come work with us at Amnesty International at IU this year as we raise awareness across campus and the community and inspire activism. We work on a variety of human rights campaigns, and Trung’s will continue to be one of them. Amnesty International at IU’s callout will be Monday, September 24th, at 7:15 in Ballantine 011. We will continue to stand with our friends in Vietnam and fight for human rights for all people in all parts of this vast world.
Thank you for listening– it makes all the difference just to be aware.