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A condemnation: Khánh Hòa Province Security Investigation Department harass relatives of Blogger Mẹ Nấm - Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh
I am Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Lan, mother of Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh, an activist who has been jailed for her activities supporting human rights and territorial integrity in Vietnam. I am sending these urgent condemnations to community networks, to report to you the recent harassment and terrorist acts targeting at my family.
On 7 and 8 April 2017, my two sisters (Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh’s aunts), received four summonses from the Khánh Hòa Province Security Department, signed by Ngô Xuân Phong and Hoàng Quốc Tuấn. These summonses referred to some activities relating to Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh’s case. As my sisters work hard every day to earn a living for their families and are not politically active, they were very confused and frightened. Being away from our family for work, they were unsure about what had happened to us.
On the afternoon of 7 April 2017, my sister Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Huệ and her husband Quang Nhật Mạnh arrived at the security investigation department as directed. Here, officials questioned them about the unlawful land seizure of their family land in 2007 to build Vĩnh Hải Market (I will explain more about this unjust story later on). They questioned my sister and her husband regarding their legal complaint that the security investigation department had previously confiscated on 10 October 2016. They then interrogated the couple about whether “Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Huệ’s family had requested Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh to take their complaint form– or if Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh had taken it without their consent."
On 8 April 2017, my other sister Nguyễn Thị Minh Trang and husband Hoàng Phi Hùng also presented at the Khanh Hoa Security Investigation Department as summoned. Again, this couple was questioned about the land seizure of their family land. They were asked “For what purpose did they provide Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh with their land complaint? Did they know what Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh intended to use these complaint for?”
To send a summons, not an invitation, to Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh’s relatives is an abuse of power over law-abiding citizens. This is a tactic used to intimidate and mentally terrorize Mẹ Nấm - Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh’s relatives and loved-ones.
Through authorities interrogating Quỳnh’s support for her family in filing legal complaints, it is implied that such deeds are unacceptable and illegal. This is no different to the way that security forces consider activities defending human rights, protecting the environment, and defending national sovereignty within maritime boundaries as crimes.
I am extremely indignant at what the Khánh Hòa security department has done to my family and loved-ones. I am worried about what they will do again to harass and terrorize us.
International communities, Vietnamese communities, and friends, please help us.