Le Thi Cong Nhan,
A daughter of Ladies Trieu and Trung
Tran Binh Nam
For more than a
year, a young Vietnamese woman by the name of Le Thi Cong Nhan has taken a
spotlight on the political stage and brought national and international public opinion
to a boiling point. She stated that
Le followed the long tradition of pride and fierce independence of Vietnamese women such as Sisters Trieu Au, Trung Trac, Trung Nhi, and recently Nguyen Thi Giang, Nguyen Thi Bac … She glorified the Vietnamese women who steadfastly fight beside men to liberate the homeland from an oppressive regime that is eroding national civilization and ethics, oblivious to the rapid progress of the world toward democracy and respect of human rights.
Le Thi Cong Nhan
was born on July 20 1979 in West Go Cong, a city of the Tien Giang province
about 100 km south of Saigon. At tender age, she moved to
province sits on the left bank of the river by the same name that branches from
Le Thi Cong Nhan belongs to a family of tradition. Her mother educated the children and instilled in them a solid judgment of right and wrong, along with a deep sense of national awareness.
She was 7 in 1986 when the Vietnamese Communist Party decided to đổi mới in order to survive the storms that followed the changes in the Soviet world. People enjoyed a certain relaxation, but she still saw the persistence of communist roots in the regime, particularly in the absence of democracy and complete lack of respect for human rights.
For Le, the most important human right censured by the communist is the freedom of speech. Without this fundamental right, national institutions would be merely sand castles. She started with the perception that democracy as practiced worldwide demanded that the foundation of society be clearly defined by written legal documents, which everyone from the lowly citizen to those in power must abide by.
school, Le enrolled in the
She has taken the non violent road, and has placed herself and her fight within the existing legal framework. She has been well aware that the country’s legal system was merely a collection of documents propped up by the Party for a democratic appearance, while the communists monopolize the power to arbitrarily interpret and apply the law as they see fit. This attitude pervades the communist leadership at all levels, from the lowly hamlet to the province and finally to the central government. The Congress was reduced to a rubberstamp to enact legal articles a priori decided by the Politburo. Le’s strategy was to interpret the rhetoric communist constitution according to the face value of its pseudo democratic wording, hoping her non violent fight will be monitored by the Vietnamese people and the world community. She worked at the Thien An law firm that belonged to Nguyen Van Dai, Esq. who totally shared her ideal and conviction.
In August 2006,
she joined The Bloc 8406 (1),
and served as spokeswoman for Viet Nam
Progression Party (Thang Tien Viet Nam Party) an open political party. In
October 2006, she joined the Alliance for
Democracy and Human Rights for Vietnam, an organization of people from inside
Party began by threatening her with lengthy and repetitive interrogations. But
she firmly stated her opinion not only in the interrogation room, but also by
open long distance telephone from
She said (2):
“I am the last of the four members of the Viet
with Nguyen Van Dai, Esq., she organized a seminar on the social and political
Le appealed the
verdict, along with her colleague Dai and another kangaroo trial took place
turned down the offer. Le said: “What I did
doesn’t violate the constitution of the
Judge Nguyen Minh Man, Vice Chairman of the People Supreme Court appointed to preside over the trial, made the bench decision of sentencing Nguyen Van Dai to 4 years of prison with 4 years of close supervision, and Le Thi Cong Nhan to 3 years of prison with 3 years of close supervision (4).
After the verdict, Le calmly said that the lower court as well as the appeals court is meaningless to her. Given the country having neither democracy nor basic human rights, her release even today would only amount to a transfer from a small prison to a larger one. She accepted the prison terms in that context.
Le Thi Cong Nhan
lost her freedom in fighting an oppressive muscular regime, but she intended
this as her share with the people of
Her long and
perseverant struggle not only encourages fighters for democracy and human
Le lives up to the expectation of a very daughter of the homeland. She enters our people’s history by the main gate. Whereas she is under incarceration, the strength of her mind nevertheless won over the communist oppressive machine, by earning her the world admiration.
Continued pressure by international associations for democracy and persistent demand for justice by the majority of the Vietnamese in the homeland and overseas will soon force the Vietnamese Communist to release her before term.
And she will continue her glorious road of fighting for what is right, and behind her will be the entirety of her compatriots.
Tran Binh Nam
Dec. 4, 2007
(1) Formed by several persons, in the same pattern of the Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia in 1977.
(2) Before the demonstration of Vietnamese overseas in Orange County, California on February 25, 2007 to protest the Vietnamese government’s repression of the activists for democracy after Vietnam joining WTO and its success in organization the annual meeting of the APEC.
(3) The international legal articles adopted by Vietnam.
(4) One year reduction of the incarceration and no change in close supervision duration.
Trần Bình Nam