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International PEN appeals for 37 Vietnamese writers seeking asylum

The WiPC wrote to Hong Kong Governor Christopher Patten on the plight of a number of Vietnamese writers and journalists who are among those seeking asylum in Hong Kong. It noted that there are reports that those who have been denied refugee status face imminent repatriation and that many have legitimate cause to fear persecution should they be returned because of the practice of their right to freedom of expression either before fleeing Vietnam or while in Hong Kong. All Vietnamese asylum seekers are due to be repatriated by the end of 1995.

PEN called upon the Hong Kong government and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to review the cases of all Vietnamese writers and journalists detained in Hong Kong; to postpone repatriation to allow International PEN and other concerned organizations to gather any evidence there may be to substantiate claims that writings led to their persecution or possible persecution on their return; and, to encourage the Vietnamese authorities to declare a Memorandum of Understanding under which no asylum seeker returned to Vietnam would suffer reprisals for having engaged in the practice of his or her right to freedom of expression while in detention in Hong Kong or in Vietnam.

The Hong Kong (English) Centre of International PEN, with the
assistance of other Hong Kong non-governmental organizations (NGOs), lawyers and individuals concerned with the plight of the Vietnamese asylum seekers, has compiled a list of 37 writers, poets and journalists whom it believes may be under threat if repatriated. Their names were presented to Governor Patten.

The list follows:

List I
International PEN is concerned that the following writers may be in danger of persecution if returned to Vietnam. It has been
informed that the reasons for their flight from their homeland
include fear of arrest or other punishment because of their
writings. International PEN calls for a review of the denial of
refugee status, and urges that they be granted more time to
enable them to gather evidence to support their claims for

BUI Xuan Chien : (No. 124173, VRD 419/12/89) Section 5,

DO Dang Bac : (No. 51342 VRD 153/11/89) Section 4, Whitehead.

DO Quang Hoa : (No.44221 VRD 343/89) Section 8 Whitehead.

HOANG Van Huy (pen name LE Hoang) : (No. 76918, VRD 501/89).

NGUYEN Quoc Binh : (No. 47501 VRD 268/89) Section 7 Whitehead.

Ms. NGUYEN Thi Thoi : (No. 59395 VRD 530/89) Section 8 Whitehead.

NGUYEN Van Thuyet: Section 7, Whitehead.

PHAM Thanh An : ( No. 115371 VRD 249/89) Section 2 Whitehead.

PHAM Thanh Hoa : (No. 58055 VRD 436/018/89) Section 8 Whitehead.

PHAM Van Hai : (No.20437) Section 8 Whitehead.

PHAM Van Thanh ( Pen name CAM Ninh) : (No. 75780 VRD 376/58/89) North Camp, High Island Detention Centre.

Ms TA Mai Xuan : (No. 59240) Section 8 Whitehead.

VU Chi Hung : (No. 44080 VRD 301/99/89) Section 4 Whitehead.

The following asylum seekers fear that they will be persecuted
on return to Vietnam because of their writings published while
in Hong Kong detention centres. International PEN requests that their repatriation be postponed to allow for further
investigation into these claims. Should cause for concern be
founded, we urge that the denial of refugee status be reviewed.

DANG Ngoc Giao : (No. 22091) Section 1, Whitehead.

DAO Nhat Bo : (No. 1321) Section 8, Whitehead.

DIN Xuan Manh : (No. 75436, VRD 380/12/89). Whitehead.

DIN Xuan Phung : (No. 26842). Whitehead.

HAI Van Do : (No. 4797, VRD 261/9/88) Whitehead.

HOANG Ngoe Ly (alias HOANG Van Ly): (No. 50196 VRD 180/34/89) Whitehead.

HOANG Xuan Loc : (No. 72395) Nei Kwu Chou Detention Camp.

LE Hoai Nam : (No. 30115) Nei Kwu Chou.

LE Minh Chien : (No. 45138) Nei Kwu Chou.

MAC Dinh Tuan : (No. 47246, VRD 259/89) High Island Detention Camp.

NAM Tien Dung : (No. 51034 VRD 143/89) Section 5, Whitehead

NGUYEN Khac Hinh : (No. 72488, VRD 805/89)

NGUYEN Manh Hung: (No. 75945 VRD 248/89) Section 5, Whitehead.

NGUYEN Pham Muoi: (No. 52476 VRD 211/28/89) Section 5 Whitehead.

NGUYEN Thi Ven : (No. 49793 VRD 211/28/89) Section 5 Whitehead.

NINH Van Lien : (VRD 687/89) Whitehead.

TRAN Dang Ho : (No. 12645 ) Whitehead.

TRAN Van Thuy : (No. 20352 VRD 293/88).

TRAN Van Thanh : (No. 26926 VRD 147/28/88) North Camp, High Island detention centre.

TRUONG Trong Chinh : (No. 62393)

TSAN Menh Phi : (No. 1528/1 VRD 65/90).

VU Manh Tuan :(No. 26266 VRD 149/88) Hut 11A Section 8 Whitehead.

VU Ngoc Quyen : (No. 54032)

VU Tie Dung : (No. 43639 VRD 3340/89) Section 1 Whitehead.
Further details on most of the above cases are available upon
request from Sara Whyatt at WiPC.

Recommended Action

Letters should be sent to the Hong Kong government:

- urging that Vietnamese asylum seekers who claim to have fled Vietnam because of their writings and who are to be repatriated imminently be granted a postponement of repatriation to allow for further investigation into their claims that they face persecution on their return.

- calling for a postponement of repatriations of
writers and journalists who fear that their writings published
in Hong Kong and abroad may lead to persecution on their return to Vietnam to enable these claims to be investigated further

- urging that the Hong Kong authorities encourage the Vietnamese government to declare a Memorandum of Understanding under which no asylum seeker returned to Vietnam would suffer reprisals for having engaged in the practice of his or her right to freedom of expression

Appeals To:

The Right Honourable Christopher Patten
Office of the Governor
Upper Albert Road
Hong Kong
Fax: + 852 810 1592

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