Archive for the ‘dissident’ Category

Hundreds at funeral of Vietnam pro-democracy activist

February 16, 2008

By Frank Zeller
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HANOI (AFP) – Hundreds of Vietnamese relatives and supporters on Saturday attended the funeral of veteran pro-democracy activist Hoang Minh Chinh, a politically charged event held under heavy police scrutiny.

Several dissidents in the one-party state were able to attend the ceremony for the Communist Party veteran-turned-activist who spent much of his life in jail or under house arrest for advocating a multi-party system.

“Today is a big event for democratic activists because Professor Chinh is one of our most renowned activists,” said another prominent critic of the government, Pham Hong Son, who has also spent years in prison.

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A Hanoi street. Hundreds of Vietnamese relatives and supporters ...
A Hanoi street. Hundreds of Vietnamese relatives and supporters on Saturday attended the funeral of veteran pro-democracy activist Hoang Minh Chinh, a politically charged event held under heavy police scrutiny.
(AFP/File/Hoang Dinh Nam)

Famous Vietnamese dissident dies

February 9, 2008
By Nga Pham
BBC News, Hanoi

One of Vietnam’s best-known dissidents, Hoang Minh Chinh, has died at the age of 85 after a long illness.

Hoang Minh Chinh

Chinh was one of the last of the older generation of activists

His family said he passed away peacefully on the first day of the Lunar New Year.

Hoang Minh Chinh was once a leading figure in the ruling Communist Party, holding several senior positions.

But he became disillusioned with the communist ideology, and began calling for more democracy. He spent many years in jail and under house arrest.

Ideologist

Born in 1922 in Nam Ha province, he joined the revolution in 1937.

He held a number of high positions in the Vietnamese government, including vice-minister of education, vice-director of the Nguyen Ai Quoc Communist Party School and director of the Marxist-Leninist Philosophy Institute.

He was considered one of the great ideologists of the regime until the 1960s, when he began criticising some of the ruling party’s decisions.

He was jailed for being a member of the so-called “anti-party revisionist campaign”.

During the last decade of his life, Mr Chinh was actively involved in the democratic movement in Vietnam, and restarted the Vietnam Democratic Party two years ago.

In 2005, in an unprecedented move, the Vietnamese government allowed him to go to the United States to receive treatment for pancreatic cancer.

During the trip, he appeared before a congressional committee to speak about the situation inside Vietnam, and called for greater pressure on the Vietnamese government.

The speech prompted an aggressive campaign against him in the Vietnamese media, but Mr Chinh was still allowed back into the country.

In 2006 he took part in the establishment of the largest democratic campaign to date, Bloc 8406.

But his past attachment to the communist ideology somewhat alienated him from the younger generation of activists, who wanted a clean break from the past.

Mr Chinh’s health worsened last year.

He was suffering from numerous illnesses and was in and out of hospital for most of the year.

Freed dissident calls for ‘taxpayers’ revolution’ in China

August 21, 2007

by P. Parameswaran

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A high-profile Chinese dissident freed from prison called on Tuesday for a “taxpayers revolution” in China to bring about greater openness and accountability in the world’s most populous nation.

Jianli, a veteran of the bloody Tiananmen Square student uprising in Beijing in 1989, urged Chinese communist leaders to give in to “mounting pressures from bottom to top for democracy in China” so that they could minimize the “social cost” for such change.

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