Family of Death-row Inmate Ho Duy Hai Met with Diplomatic Missions

Long An Province, 10 March 2015—While the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam and interested diplomatic missions will reflect on the new developments surrounding the death penalty case of Ho Duy Hai, according to a Delegation representative, the meeting hosted by her Hanoi office with Mr. Hai’s mother and aunt, which took place on 5 March, is a show of solidarity with his family.

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Because Ho Duy Hai’s case has been greatly covered by the local media and received substantial interest from the international community, his mother focused her presentation on overlooked details and what has happened on the ground since she last saw Mr. Hai at the Long An Prison on 28 November 2014.

“I’m very worried,” said Nguyen Thi Loan – Mr. Hai’s mother. “I want to see my son as soon as possible to make sure that he’s in good health and under no torture,” she cried.

At the central level, Ho Duy Hai’s death sentence is currently under the monitoring of the National Assembly and being reviewed by an interdisciplinary committee that includes members from the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam, the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the Vietnamese Communist Party’s Central Commission for Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Public Security – the last of which has confirmed with Mr. Hai’s main attorney that his family can totally visit him in prison every month. At the local level, nonetheless, the Long An Prison has since 30 December 2014 prohibited the family from seeing Ho Duy Hai and never presented any official reason.

The Canadian Embassy’s representative in attendance wished the family real strength to overcome this ordeal. Meanwhile, the representative from the American Embassy communicated a firm message of support, that is, the United States government is consistent in its advocacy of due process, which seems to be lacking in Ho Duy Hai’s case – one that still has many contradictions and investigative deficiencies.

The meeting was joined, on the side of Hanoi’s diplomatic community, by 12 diplomats – including representatives from the European Union Delegation to Vietnam and the Embassies of the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland and the Netherlands.

Western countries have over the past few years made human rights an important topic in their dialogues with the government of Vietnam. Among these fundamental rights are the right to life and the right to fair trial, which are guaranteed by the Vietnamese Constitution under Article 19 and Article 31 respectively. The country’s death row, however, is amongst the 12th largest in the world and the majority of the death sentences ever handed down in Vietnam are drug-related, according to Thanh Nien News.

Summary of the Death Penalty Case of Ho Duy Hai

Ho Duy Hai – a resident of Long An Province and a graduate of the Ho Chi Minh City Hung Vuong College – received a death sentence on 1 December 2008 allegedly for murdering two female employees of the local Cau Voi Post Office.

After the appeals court, the Supreme People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City upheld the death sentence and yet on 4 December 2014 – only one day before his execution date – Vietnamese State President Truong Tan Sang ordered that the execution be postponed.

While Mr. Hai’s case is being reviewed by the authorities, his family confirms their position that this is a wrongful sentence, not that they are asking for commutation or clemency. Since the first trial, the Vietnamese Court at all levels has ignored Mr. Hai’s alibis and the State investigators involved have committed serious violations of criminal procedure.
Mr. Hai’s family is committed to bringing back justice for him.

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