Statement of Phạm Chí Dũng
- Witnessing how the lawyers defending me and my colleagues are subjected to an uncivilized and brutal treatment by the Court of Ho Chi Minh City;
- Seeing clearly that the predetermined verdict is a means to strangle press freedom in Vietnam;
- Being informed that on January 8, 2021, the Court of Appeal upheld the harsh prison terms of the Nhóm Hiến Pháp (Group for the Constitution) while they should have been released for being innocents. This group was just preparing a demonstration to claim constitutional rights, but not to undermine the public security;
- Considering that the Court of Appeal has upheld the verdicts in mostly all other political cases,
I decide not to appeal against the verdict.
I do not appeal – not because I accept this unjust and very harsh sentence. My fate would be decided by God and not by the Court or the Communist Party.
Let this verdict be an evidence for the world about the so-called respect of human rights and press freedom in Vietnam.
I would like to express my profound appreciation to the US State Department, the German Federal Foreign Office, the European Union, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the international diplomatic corps, and all domestic and foreign organizations and individuals who voiced their sympathy for our situation.
Many thanks to my attorneys – Nguyen Van Mieng and Dang Dinh Manh – for passionately defending us, though the results did not come out as expected.
May God grant peace to my family, with hope to be together again soon. May human rights and democracy come soon to the people of Vietnam.
Chi Hoa Detention Center January 18, 2021
(Signature) Phạm Chí Dũng