Artist: Dr. Nguyen Dan Que
Confronting Bodies: Vietnamese Government
Date of Action: June 14, 1990
Specific Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Description of Artwork: " ...On May 11, 1990 Dr. Nguyen Dan Que, as representative of a political reform association known as the Hight Tide Humanist Movement, signed a public appeal for political reform and recognition of human rights in Vietnam. Dr. Que released the appeal to various international news agencies and friends in Canada and France, with the expectation he would be arrested. The appeal called for the Communist party to "respect human, civil, and property rights of the people" and to adopt a pluralistic political system" and called for international support "in our moderate and non-violent struggle.
Description of Incident: " ...On June 14,1990, seven or eight police from the public security bureau of Ho Chi Minh City came to take him into custody. Dr. Nguyen Dan Que refused to go as the police lacked a court order authorizing his arrest. The police left, but returned that afternoon with the order, and took him with them. Over a dozen others were arrested in conjunction with his detention; their names and whereabouts are not known. "Born in 1942 in Hanoi, Dr. Nguyen Dan Que graduated Saigon University Medical School, and pursued research in Belgium, France and England. He returned to Vietnam in 1974 to teach endocrinology at the Saigon University Medical School in 1974 and practice at the Cho Ray Hospital in Saigon. "Dr. Nguyen Dan Que was jailed without charge or trial from 1978 to 1988 for publicly demanding Vietnam's government respect human rights. During this time he was adopted as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. "The Humanist Movement is an underground association dedicated to nonviolent advocacy of basic human rights and political and economic reforms, including free elections in Vietnam. The movement claims members throughout Vietnam, although Dr. Nguyen Dan Que is the only one who has consented to make his identity public. Since Dr. Nguyen Dan Que's arrest, the movement estimates as many as a thousand of its supporters have been detained in the 'anti-crime' campaigns precipitated through out the country by Decision 135... "
Results of Incident: "Dr. Nguyen Dan Que is believed to be held in the vicinity of Ho Chi Minh City. He suffers from bleeding ulcers, and his family is deeply anxious about his safety and health. Despite numerous appeals to the authorities, no family member has been permitted to visit Dr. Que or know his whereabouts... "
Source: Human Rights Watch/Asia Watch, "Vietnam:Repression of Dissent", March 4, 1991 Vol. # 3 Iss. # 8
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