About Lê Quốc Quân

A lawyer by training, Mr. Le Quoc Quan has worked for the past seven years as a local governance consultant to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, UNDP, and the Swedish International Development Agency. An active participant in Vietnam's struggle for democracy, he has been vocal in his defense of religious freedom and political pluralism, both as a law student and legal advocate, and in his writings for the BBC and several Vietnamese newspapers. He is founder of Vietnam Solutions, a firm that provides consulting services on local governance, poverty reduction, and grassroots democracy for development projects in Vietnam. During his fellowship, Mr. Quan is examined the role of civil society in countries that have made a successful democratic transition. He planned to write an article on how civil society can contribute to democracy in Vietnam. March 8, 2007 he was arrested by the communist authorities and subsequently charged with attempting to overthrow the people's government. At this time, Le Quoc Quan is being held at detention camp B14 of the Ministry of Public Security in Hanoi.

March 23, 2007

Latest update on the arrest of attorney Le Quoc Quan

March 23, 2007
Tra Mi, Radio Free Asia

After twice extending the detainment of attorney Le Quoc Quan, the Police Bureau issued official notice of his arrest and detainment for the “violation of Article 79 of the Criminal Code”. Quan’s family was granted visitation rights beginning today.

Viet Nam granted permission for Mr. Le Quoc Quan to travel to the United States to pursue a fellowship for a period of six months sponsored by the Washington D.C. based National Endowment for Democracy. Le Quoc Quan was arrested when he returned to Vietnam on March 8, 2007.

Following is an interview with Mrs. Thu Hien, Quan’s wife, on the latest development of Quan’s arrest.

Thu Hien: This evening, March 20th, I came to see the Police, and they gave me the notice of Quan’s arrest and detainment.

Tra Mi: Is this the official arrest warrant of the Police?

Thu Hien: I don’t have the arrest warrant, this is only a notice that writes: “Investigation Division, Police Bureau, hereby notice on the arrest and detainment of Le Quoc Quan”.

Tra Mi: Do you know the location where Quan is currently being held?

Thu Hien: Quan is currently being held at the detainment camp B14 of the Police Bureau, Thanh Liet Hamlet, Thanh Tri, Ha Noi. In the notice, it writes that: “Le Quoc Quan participated and organized in the activities to overthrow the people’s government as stated in Article 79 of the Criminal Code of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.”

Tra Mi: Have you stated your wish or request when the Police gave you this notice?

Thu Hien: When they gave me this notice, I requested to see Quan, but the Police said that my request is denied at this time.

Honestly, I was shocked and in pain because I believe that my husband would never commit the crime that they imposed upon him. My husband just returned from his fellowship with the NED, and he has a law office with the dream of serving the poor and defending the workers.
I think, with this aspiration and completion of the fellowship, he could not commit any crime. Being labeled and arrested as such, I feel so painful. I strongly believethat my husband never commit such crime.

Later this evening, the Police allowed me to send aids to my husband, but at this moment, I am still not allowed to see him. Tomorrow, I will continue to request visitation rights to see my husband. Meanwhile, I will send him supplies and personal necessities.

Tra Mi: When the Police gave you the notice, did the government issue any request to you?

Thu Hien: The officer requested that I sign for the receipt of the notice in the evening of March 20th.

Tra Mi: How long has it been since Quan was arrested until you received this notice?

Thu Hien: 12 days. Quan was taken away on March 8th, I received the notice on March 20th.
The second extension of the arrest was expired on March 18th.

Tra Mi: How are the activities of the law office “Quan and Brothers” that was founded by Le Quoc Quan? Does the arrest has any impact on its activities?

Thu Hien: The law office was searched and 1 computer was confiscated. I heard that attorney Trang, representative of “Quan and Brothers” in the South (Viet Nam), was also arrested.

Tra Mi: When did the arrest of attorney Trang occur? And was it related to the arrest of attorney Le Quoc Quan?

Thu Hien: Based on the information that I received today, attorney Trang was arrested on the same day when Quan was arrested.

Tra Mi: After Radio Free Asia interviewed you for the first time, we learned that your mobile telephone was locked. Did you find out why?

Thu Hien: When I learned that my mobile phone was locked on the morning of March 18th, I contacted the provider, and they explained that normally when phones are locked, it is either by the request of the client, the account is out of funds or by the order of the Police Bureau. In my case, the provider said “the reason for the lock is not provided”.

Tra Mi: With these three reasons for the lock of your phone, which one do you think that was applied to your case?

Thu Hien: As a client, I do not have the need to lock my phone number and I still have funds remaining in the account. That leaves the third reason, which is an order from the Police Bureau.

Tra Mi: Back to Quan’s arrest, having the official notice, what do you plan to do next to raise your voice for Quan?

Thu Hien: I need to find an attorney, and I want NED to speak out.

I know that NED is doing everything they could have done to bring to light the arrest of their fellow student, but I want NED to work to help the Vietnamese government better understand the NED’s fellowship, and to request the government to release Quan soon.

Tra Mi: Thank you very much for sharing with us the latest development of the arrest of attorney Le Quoc Quan.

No comments: