38 Ky Dong St- Third District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

July 15, 2011


Re: Protesting violations of the law by Ho Chi Minh City police in the suspension of citizen's rights to leave the country.

To: State officials at all levels of The Socialist Republic of Vietnam

My name is Rev. Pham Trung Thanh- the Provincial Superior of the Redemptorist Province of Vietnam, at 38 Ky Dong St, 3rd district, HCM city

Respectfully presenting my case as follows:

1/ On two separate occasions on 12/28/2010 and 07/10/2011 respectively, port police at Tan Son Nhat airport had prevented me (Pham Trung Thanh) from leaving the country for the USA (12/28/2010) and Singapore (07/10/2011) to fulfil my duty as Provincial Superior of my Redemptorist Province of Vietnam.

The concern is that the police officers had neither been able to present any written notice (as required by law) nor to provide any lawful explanations for their action. On both occasions their reports only attributed the suspension to the request of Ho Chi Minh city police.

2/ Based on

(i) Article 68 of the Constitution which states "Citizens are entitled to freedom of... departure for and return from foreign countries in accordance with the law". This happens to be the civil rights the State of Vietnam had solemnly signed to commit in Article 50 of the Constitution “In the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, human rights in all aspects, political, civic, economic, cultural and social are respected"

(ii) Article 48 of the Civil Code providing that "Individuals shall have the right to freedom of travel or of residence. Rights to freedom of travel or of residence may be restricted only by decision of a competent state agency and in accordance with the order and procedure specified by law".

(iii) and Articles 21, 22, Decree No. 136/2007/ND-CP dated 8/17/2007 by the State regarding re-entry or exit of Vietnam's citizens, provisions on persons not yet permitted to leave the country. According to this, I do not fit in the category of individuals who are yet to be granted permission to exit. Supposedly if something was done for security reasons, the Minister of Public Security is to decide, but cannot be at Ho Chi Minh city police’s request.

I - Pham Trung Thanh- by this written document hereby officially protest violations of laws by Ho Chi Minh City police in suspending my exit in this case

3) While I don't think this is the policy of the State of Vietnam, I hope all violations of the same kind as this particular case -have to be handled and stopped.

Respectfully yours,

Pham Trung Thanh

(Signed and sealed)

Translated from Vietnamese by VietCatholic News Agency

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