Le Cong Dinh has learned the hard way that the Vietnamese government doesn’t like people talking about politics and human rights abuses because that’s an act of “conducting propaganda.” Instead of facing 20 years in prison, Mr. Le could possibly be sentenced to death. Ummm, that seems kind of harsh considering all he was doing was criticizing “controversial bauxite mines in Vietnam’s Central Highlands.” What government wouldn’t want that type of negative publicity?
In an article on the New York Times, Vietnamese president Nguyen Minh Triet was quoted as saying, “Laws of each country are different. They are based on the different historical and geographical conditions, and that is why it is impossible to implement the laws of one state in the other country.” President Nguyen may have suffered a case of 24-like amnesia because Vietnam is a member state of the United Nations and the “supreme law of the land” under the UN is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It looks like the Vietnamese government isn’t the only one that wants to silence dissidents. China, not keen on being left out, is also joining the party. Here’s a novel idea. Why not address the real issue at hand and free these prisoners of conscious? If you want to party, we can always play Mario Party 8 for the Nintendo Wii.