Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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The Vietnamese Newspaper

Please help FREE THICH MINH TUE


7 June 2024

Hon Josh Burns MP

Australian Labor Party, Macnamara VIC

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (PJCHR)

Re. Please help FREE THICH MINH TUE

Dear Hon Burns,

The Vietnamese Community in Australia (VCA) would like to bring to your attention a serious violation of religious freedom in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) against a Budish monk Thich Minh Tue on June 3rd, 2024 where he was unlawfully kidnapped by the local police in Hue (Vietnam Central) for practicing his religious pilgrimage as a “Hanh Dau Da” walking monk. Up to 70 of Thich Minh Tue’s followers were also arrested at the same time by over 100 agents from different special forces in Thua Thien, Hue and Gia Lai provinces. Thich Minh Tue started his trekking journey 6 years ago, and it has recently become a phenomenon in Vietnam where one can find over 80 million results when doing a google search about him using “Thich Minh Tue” as key words.

Monk Thich Minh Tue.

We fear for the safety of Monk Thich Minh Tue and his followers as the SRV Government still has not disclosed the group’s whereabouts, its present well-being, or was there any lawful charge laid against this group of peaceful monks.

We refer to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 1948 which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance”.

Monk Minh Tue (front row, middle) on his walking journey from South to North. Photo TTXVN

This statement universally agrees that the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) may not impose restrictions on the right to hold positions based on religious or other belief, nor may it impose religious or other beliefs. The Government may also be obliged to take positive steps, where necessary and appropriate to protect this right, where failure to do so may result in offensive attacks on religious beliefs.

We are hereby asking you for help in your presentation capacity to investigate the urgent matter above and seek for Thich Minh Tue’s immediate release along with his followers, and allow the group to exercise its freedom of religion in choosing its ascetic way of life whilst continuing its peaceful pilgrimage.

Yours Sincerely,

Mr Cong LE

National President

Vietnamese Community in Australia (VCA)