Doan Viet Hoat

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Doan Viet Hoat "is known as the Sakharov of Vietnam for his intellectual range and outspoken role as leader of the democratic movement, even from the prison cell. Hoat protested the South Vietnamese government's suppression of Buddhists in the 1960s while still a student. He went to study in the US and got a Ph.D. in Education in 1971. Returning back to Vietnam in 1971, he concentrated on upgrading Van Hanh University (a Buddhist private university in Saigon) to the world level of a modern institution of higher learning. In April 1975, when North Vietnam took over South Vietnam, Hoat stayed in Vietnam.

"By 1976, Hoat was imprisoned when the new authorities embarked on mass arrests of intellectuals, and he spent the next twelvfe years confied to a cramped cell,k shared with forty others. Upon his release, Hoat began publishing an underground magazine, entitled Freedom Forum (Dien Dan Tu Do). Only months later, he was detained without trial for two years, then in March 1993, sentenced to twenty years in prison for "attempting to overthrow the people's government." Throughout his imprisonment, Hoat continued to issue statements on democracy and to offer criticism of the regime that were sent out of the prisons clandestinely. The Vietnamese government transferred Hoat from one detention center to another, in an attempt to silence him, but everywhere he went, Hoat's charismatic temperament won over fellow prisoners and guards alike, who sought his counsel and carried out his letters. Finally, Hoat was sent to the most remote prison in the country, Thanh Cam Labor Camp, Thanh Hoa province, and all prisoners were removed from the cells adjacent to his own. He spent four and a half years in solitary confinement until, in September 1998, after intense international pressure, Doan Viet Hoat was released, then exiled. He now lives in the United States, and continues his movement for human rights and democracy for Vietnam." [1]

External links