Monday, 25 January 2010

Nguyen Tien Trung.

Monday morning. I had prepared a blog that would hopefully bring cheer but it will have to wait.
I blog roughly every five days; some of you out there blog daily. Many bloggers from the top downwards, ourselves included are often 'full of it', self indulgent and self opinionated, basking in the attention we create. It is so easy to become quite giddy at our perceived 'fame'.
We try to amuse, inform, educate, impress, a little voice in the great big world. Some sail close to the wind, offering blogs of great humour but often provocative, using words of which our grannies would not have approved and offering ideas than would have been unacceptable not all that long ago. Some offer great knowledge to a world that is eager for their pronouncements, wit and wisdom. Or so we hope.
Then there are the political blogs of varied persuasion, almost unreal individuals oblivious to the real world, their incessant, inane rambling designed to convert us to their own, often perverse political opinion. The top three in our beloved countries political blogs purports to be Guido Fawkes, Ian Dale and Spectator Coffee House, though quite frankly, who cares.
So what, you may be asking, is he on about! Please allow me to tell you the reason for this blog.
Whether your or my blogs are senile, boring, vitriolic, unpatriotic, uninformed, crass, puerile, biased, infantile, inspired, groundbreaking or even world shattering, we are allowed to publish all the same. That is the rule in the civilised world.
Nguyen Tien Trung. Remember the name. Nguyen is a twenty six year old Vietnamese blogger. Whilst you read this he is in the first week of a sixteen year sentence for daring to post anti-government views on his blog. The prosecution gave no evidence to support the indictment, the judge deliberated for only fifteen minutes. He has already been in prison since July 2009, at one stage death by firing squad even seemed a possibility.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that it is the fundamental right of all persons to hold opinions and freely express them. (From the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [ICCPR] of which Vietnam is a member.)
Continue to enjoy your blogging, for life must go on. But please remember Nguyen the next time you blog, and in your prayers tonight.


Von said...

Indeed, sometimes we take that freedom for granted.Thanks for the reminder.

Nakamuras on Saipan said...

Yes, indeed...thank you for the reminder. Being reminded of our blessings helps keep things balanced. Helps me anyways.

Jennytc said...

A very salutary reminder, Ken. However much there is to complain about here, at least we have the freedom to complain - at the moment, anyway. ;)

Sueann said...

What a poignant reminder. Thank you!

Unknown said...

...And don't anyone forget we have this privilege. Prayers for Nguyun.

the fly in the web said...

Is there any support organisation?

Kristina P. said...

I just don't think enough about the freedoms we have.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

fly in the web
I'm not too good on finding things re the internet. Nguyen seems to have French connections. Tumblr also seems to have connections (though I don't know them)and may be useful.

Gill - That British Woman said...

well said, and a great reminder of how lucky we are.

Gill in Canada

cheshire wife said...

You have to feel sorry for him, but I guess he knew that he was playing with fire. We are lucky that we live in such a tolerant society.

Shammickite said...

I am so grateful for the freedom that I enjoy in my chosen country. Freedom to write, say, think, do, whatever I want (as long as it's lawful). Your post has reminded me that not everyone in the world enjoys such priviledge.

Robert said...

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." ~Voltaire.

We might not be able to change things for the better in Vietnam, but we should be vigilant here, ready to protect the freedoms we hold.

gayle said...

Omg That is so terrible!!

Kitty said...

A very sobering post, Ken - thank you. Sometimes I (like many of us, I suspect) need reminding of the privilege of living somewhere where we are free to express our opinions.

the fly in the web said...

Thanks, I found a support committee...being useless on the net I couldn't use the link, but I'll get it on Google.

Kit Courteney said...

Whatever is the point of blogging if you can't express your views.

This saddens me that in 2010 there is such a 'crime'.

Thanks for reminding your corner of the blogging community.

Grumpy Old Ken said...


We all care I hope but sometimes a reminder does no harm.

Grumpy Old Ken said...


We may lack power but we must no forget.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

cheshire wife
The fact that he continued to write makes it all the more poignant.

Grumpy Old Ken said...


We are indeed lucky to live in a civilised situation, imperfect yes, but civilised in the main.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

fly in the web

Good for you

Kit Courtenay
Yes, we take a lot for granted.

Anonymous said...

Dear everybody,

This is the petition for Nguyen Tien Trung

* *

Several other democracy non-violent activists have been unjustly jailed by the Vietnamese Communist Party -- a gross violent of human rights and freedom of speech that we have now have for granted in the West.

Please help with the petition for others: -- Mr. Le Cong Dinh -- a lawyer -- Mrs. Tran Khai Thanh Thuy -- a well respected writer

All in English.

Thank you for reading and for your helps.

Best regards.

Viet Nguyen --