Auswärtiges Amt / Federal Foreign Office 11013 Berlin
Dear Mr Loening,
First of all, we would like to express our deepest gratitude for your commitment in the cause of Human Rights in many countries as well as recently in VN.
Whereas many European politicians (among them German, too) used to keep an interest in economic issues before the Human Rights issues, thus avoided all criticism as to Human Rights violations when dealing with leaders of totalitarian regimes, you have in your case expressed very clearly the demand for a release of political prisoners and for the lifting of press censorship. The circles of Human Rights activists, both in VN and overseas, owe you so much of thankfulness as well as a tremendous recognition for your courageous intervention.
Also, in VN you must have witnessed, firsthand, how the Vietnamese Government mistreated and tramped upon all the citizens' civic rights as stipulated by the United Nations' Civic Rights Pact, a Pact that VN itself had ratified before.
We also learned through the Press Release of Federal Foreign Office that you received no response, at all, for your request to meet with dissidents, or to visit them in prison.
By that, the Vietnamese Regime showed how they fear a democratization of the country, and by all means they prevented a dialogue between you and the dissidents. Even though democracy activists and political prisoners were not allowed to meet with you, please be assured that the words you expressed for Freedom and Human Rights will reach them even in the remotest prison cells ...
The concern for their fate, as voiced by you, are a comfort, a recognition, even an encouragement for their struggle for Democracy, Freedom and Justice in VN.
At the present hour there are, again, new violations of Human Rights in Vietnam. According to a report by BBC on 27-12-2012, the well-known lawyer Le Quoc-Quan was arrested for the alleged crime of tax evasion.
Due to his commitment to democracy and pluralism he has been harassed constantly since 2007. After a five-month study in the US on a Reagan-Fascell Democracy scholarship, Le Quoc-Quan was arrested upon his return to Vietnam in 2007on suspicion of engaging in ‘activities to overthrow the regime’.
He was finally released after 100 days in prison, but no longer permitted to leave Vietnam.
For the upcoming year of 2013 we would like to wish you all the best of Health and Success in your engagement in the cause of Human Rights & Humanitarian Help.
Dr. Hong An Duong
Forum Vietnam 21 (Stuttgart in Germany)