Pennsauken, 24 September 2013– On behalf of the Khmer- Krom families in Prey Chop, we would like to urgently appeal and notify you of the upcoming trial of 4 Khmer-Krom people who have been arrested, tortured and imprisoned for allegedly creating “public disorder” during the incident of Venerable Ly Chanh Da’s defrocking on 16th May 2013.
Family members were notified that the following members; Lam Thi lon, Ly Thi Danh, Ly Minh Hai and Tang Pha Lan will be placed on trial on September 25th 2013 at Toà Án Nhân Dân Thị Xã Vĩnh Châu, Tỉnh Sóc Trăng.
We are concern about the lack of transparency and fairness of this trial. They were given insignificant time to find a lawyer and the accused have been found guilty even before the trial even happened.
The four victims are imprisoned because they exercised their freedom of speech and spoke up about the injustice of what the Vietnam authority was doing to Venerable Ly Chanh Da. Venerable Ly Chanh Da have fled to Thailand seeking asylum but those who stayed like the four victims will be sentenced for a crime they did not commit.
On behalf of these voiceless victims, we urgently need for your assistance to:
- Ask Vietnam to immediately release all 4 victims without trial
- Request that Vietnam provide a lawyer for the accused so that they are represented in fairness and justice.
- Remind Vietnam that freedom of speech is a right for all, not just for Vietnamese people.
- Urge all Foreign Embassies to send a representative to the trial to observe the proceedings