10 December 2007
Free imprisoned trade unionists
Tran Quoc Hien - imprisoned for trade union workTwo days after Tran Quoc Hien was chosen as spokesperson for the United Workers-Farmers Organization (UWFO) in January 2007, he was arrested. The legal consultant only took the job because four other leaders had been arrested before the start of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Viet Nam in November 2006.

The Vietnamese authorities allege Tran Quoc Hien "joined reactionary organizations through the internet", and that "[u]nder the guise of helping members of the public lodge petitions" he and his accomplices incited demonstrations and posted "distorted" articles on the Internet.

He was also accused of being a member of Bloc 8406, an Internet-based pro-democracy movement calling for peaceful political change and respect for human rights. On 15 May 2007, Tran Quoc Hien was sentenced to five years' imprisonment plus two years' probation. Amnesty International does not know where he is.

 Tran Thi Le Hang, Nguyen Tan Hoanh, Doan Van Dien, Doan Huy Chuong The four UWFO leaders, Nguyen Tan Hoanh, Tran Thi Le Hang, Doan Huy Chuong and his father Doan Van Dien, are believed to be held at B5 prison camp in Dong Nai province. Amnesty International does not know when they might be tried or on what charges.

UWFO aims to protect and promote workers' rights, including the right to form and join trade unions without government interference. The organization also calls for justice for people whose land and property have been unlawfully confiscated by government officials, and for an end to exploitation of cheap labour and dangerous working conditions. Take Action

Viet Nam does not allow independent trade unions. Peaceful dissenting activists and government critics face arrest, imprisonment, house arrest, surveillance and harassment.
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