Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Viet Nam restricts dissidents’ families, again

For the second time this month, relatives of several imprisoned dissidents were denied the ability to meet with the United States Ambassador, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Of the five family members invited to the embassy by U.S. Ambassador Michael Marine, only one was able to make it. The other four were kept from attending through several means, including calling them in for questioning by police. One of the invited women was injured in a car accident rumored to be driven by a plainclothes officer.

Three weeks ago a similar situation occurred, as the wives of several activists were surrounded by police officers as they made their way to the U.S. Embassy to have tea with Marine. Marine has warned of a crackdown on pro-democracy activists – a claim seconded by many nongovernmental organizations – and says that the detention of the dissidents has been addressed in talks with Vietnamese officials.

Amnesty International has reported that there have been more than 20 arrests of dissidents since November.

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