Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Detained Vietnamese monk calls for democracy

Even at 80 years old Buddhist monk, Thich Quang Do, the deputy leader of the outlawed Unified Buddhist Church of Viet Nam, remains one of Viet Nam’s most prominent dissidents, according to an Al Jazeeera article featured on the website of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.

He has spent more than 25 years in detention for advocating greater religious freedoms and rights. Al Jazeera has now obtained videos smuggled from Viet Nam that feature the commentary of Thich Quang Do. Excerpts of Do’s statements, as cited in the Al Jazeera article, are presented below.

“In Vietnam today we are not free. We are prisoners in our own country ... Prisoners of a regime which decides who has the right to speak, and who must keep silent…I have been continuously repressed right from 1975 by the communist regime. For me, I'm not afraid of anything, of anything, because I am struggling for the right cause. For the truth…All citizens who call for political reform, democracy or human rights risk immediate arrest. Only economically speaking [are things] any better. But politically speaking, nothing changes…We must have pluralism, the right to hold free elections, and to choose our own political system...To enjoy democratic freedoms. In brief, the right to shape our own future, to shape the destiny of our nation. For the last 32 years we always speak out to the outside world. And we hope like you ... that you foreigners listen to our cry.”

For the full article click here.


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