Australia: 'I don't want him to die there': son of NSW retiree imprisoned in Vietnam speaks out - - PressFrom - Australia
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Australia 'I don't want him to die there': son of NSW retiree imprisoned in Vietnam speaks out

03:45  20 november  2019
03:45  20 november  2019 Source:   9news.com.au

Australian citizen Van Kham Chau sentenced to 12 years' jail in Vietnam for 'terrorism'

  Australian citizen Van Kham Chau sentenced to 12 years' jail in Vietnam for 'terrorism' A Sydney retiree has been found guilty of "terrorist activities" and sentenced to 12 years in prison by a Vietnamese court. Van Kham Chau, 70, who is a retired baker from Sydney, is a member of democracy and human rights organisation, Viet Tan, which is considered a "terrorist organisation" by the Vietnamese Government.Mr Chau was convicted on Monday for holding a senior position in the New South Wales chapter of Viet Tan, for recruiting new members and for "financing terrorism".

Otto Warmbier was arrested and imprisoned during a visit to North KoreaCredit: AP:Associated Press. Doctors in the US city said there were no broken bones or other signs of trauma but his brain damage was severe. However at his second summit with Kim Jong-Un in Vietnam , Trump said he

[Verse] I wanted to die There ain' t no question of why haven' t I Figured a way to destroy my life I never wanted a pain so bad Living with memories that I once had Joining the voices of ones we once had Running around in a realm made of glass Into unknown territory of mass, and I look out of the.

a group of people looking at each other: Chau Van Kham being escorted on the day of his trial, and standing in court: the only images his family has seen of him since his arrest in January 2019.© AAP Chau Van Kham being escorted on the day of his trial, and standing in court: the only images his family has seen of him since his arrest in January 2019. The family of an Australian man jailed in Vietnam for 12 years fear the sentence will kill him as they begin a last-ditch battle to have him freed.

Last week, 70-year-old Sydney retiree Chau Van Kham was sentenced to 12 years in a Vietnamese prison.

"It was devastating," his youngest son Dennis Chau told 9News.

"I don't want him to die there."

Dennis, who lives in London, only learned of his father's arrest when he phoned home on his birthday in January.

"Mum tried to hide it from me," he said. "She was still very distressed."

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HANOI, Vietnam — Do Thi Mai said she was shocked to learn that her 17-year-old son , Do Dang “How did he turn out like this?” Vietnam has been slowly updating its criminal justice system for Vietnam ’s Foreign Ministry did not respond to emailed questions about conditions in Vietnamese

Eventually his older brother Daniel explained everything: their father had been arrested several weeks earlier during a research trip to Vietnam on charges relating to his membership of Viêt Tân, a democracy and human rights activist group the Vietnamese government has labelled a"terrorist" organisation but which the UN has described as "peaceful".

Almost all contact to Mr Chau was blocked. Monthly consular visits, drop-offs of medicine and cash from a sister, and a single half-hour meeting with his lawyer have been his only contact with the outside world – meetings Dennis said were "all recorded and quite heavily guarded".

"The family remains gravely concerned," the family's Australian solicitor, Dan Nguyen, told 9News.

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For starters, in what condition did the Warmbiers find their son when the family was reunited upon his “ There was no comforting Otto.” Two days after his return to the United States, Otto Warmbier’s fever “They didn’ t want him to die on their soil.” Despite such a breadth of medical inconsistencies

I don ' t believe it," Kody said. Defense: 'A case of a wrongfully convicted man'. Prosecutors leaned heavily on medical testimony -- from Florida pediatrician Mark Morris, who "From the beginning they wanted us all to just be like vultures and go after each other. It turned extremely ugly, very, very ugly."

"Unless the (Australian) government speak up to assist, Mr Chau will not survive the 12-year sentence."

a group of people posing for a photo: The Chaus met and married in Australia. Dennis Chau describes his parents, who ran a laundromat and then a bakery together, as 'workaholics'.© Supplied The Chaus met and married in Australia. Dennis Chau describes his parents, who ran a laundromat and then a bakery together, as 'workaholics'.

Dennis's mother, Quynh Trang Truong, has been trying to keep up a brave face for her children. But cut off from her husband, Trang has suffered from social isolation and financial stress, especially after the government stopped Mr Chau's pension. "They did everything together," Dennis said of his parents.

"She's never really used the internet, for example. It's very hard for her."

The one letter Dennis tried to send his father was rejected by prison officials without explanation, and the only time the family has seen him is in two images recently released to the public: one of Mr Chau speaking at his trial and one of him being taken away.

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Human rights advocates believe Mr Chau's arrest is part of a broader clamp-down on government opposition in Vietnam.

"He has been incarcerated on bogus, politically-motivated charges," Human Rights Watch's deputy Asia director Phil Robertson said.

Mr Chau's first consular visit since the trial is scheduled for today. The family hopes he can lodge an appeal before the deadline of Monday.The family has made repeated appeals to Australian officials – including Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne – requesting urgent intervention to reduce Mr Chau's sentence.

He requires care for existing medical conditions including a prostate problem and high blood pressure. Dennis said it feels like "the government don't want to get involved at all".

a man standing on a sidewalk: Dennis Chau will now need to send savings home to his mother in Australia, as his father's pension has been cut off by the Australian government.© Supplied Dennis Chau will now need to send savings home to his mother in Australia, as his father's pension has been cut off by the Australian government.

Mr Morrison commented publicly on the case whilst in Hanoi in August, saying "Australians need to abide by the laws of the countries which they visit".

Family of Sydney retiree jailed in Vietnam says Canberra's response would be stronger if he was a 'white Australian'

  Family of Sydney retiree jailed in Vietnam says Canberra's response would be stronger if he was a 'white Australian' The wife of a Sydney retiree sentenced to 12 years in a Vietnamese prison writes an emotional letter to the Prime Minister, questioning whether the Government's "weak" response would have been stronger if her husband was a white Australian. Australian citizen Van Kham Chau, a 70-year-old retired baker, was last Monday convicted and sentenced for "the crime of terrorism against the people's government" in a Ho Chi Minh City courtroom — he has lodged an appeal against the conviction. The proceedings took less than five hours and Chau was cut off by the presiding judge as he made a statement in his defence.

Lyrics: Sometimes I don ' t know where This dirty road is taking me Sometimes I can't even see the reason why I guess I keep a-gamblin' Lots of booze Now I 'm out of prison I got me a friend at last He don ' t drink or steal or cheat or lie His name's Codine He's the nicest thing I 've seen Together we're

I don ' t care.' Mr Reddy, 52, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, who had been married to Mrs Reddy for 20 years, was treated in hospital after the wound penetrated He said in a statement: ' I don ' t feel I will ever get over what she did to me I keep crying and breaking down I can't concentrate.

Ms Payne told the ABC last week that "it would be inappropriate, and not in Mr Chau's best interests, to comment while legal processes remain available".

Dennis told 9News Mr Morrison's statement was "very poor and weak", and that he thought the government's position was "a cop-out"

."Vietnam and Australia do have a trading relationship," he said. "It's just politics, that the government isn't able to do anything."

"There is no reason why the government cannot speak up to protect its citizen in this case," Mr Nguyen said.

Mr Chau arrived in Australia in 1983, fleeing Vietnam after fighting on the side of the US-backed South Vietnamese administration against the Communist government and spending several years in a re-eduction camp. He met and married Trang in Australia and the "workaholics" went on to run a laundromat together, and then a bakery.

Dennis said his "happy, upbeat, very chatty" father rarely mentioned his experiences from the war.

"The only thing he's talked about was the boat ride over that took a number of days, and how a bunch of people got sick and didn't make it," he said.

a man standing in front of a stone building: Chau Van Kham on his first trip to Europe.© Supplied Chau Van Kham on his first trip to Europe.

Dennis plans to visit his father about March when the appeal process is completed.His Sydney-based brother hopes to visit sooner, though it's not known if they'll be allowed.

"We're trying to spread it out, so he keeps his morale high."

Meanwhile, the family continues to rely on brief consular reports and "bland" scanned letters to gauge their father's state of mind, as they prepare for Christmas without him.

"(The letters are) mainly in Vietnamese and to my mum, but usually it's just about 'keep up good spirits', that sort of stuff. He's not able to talk about too much because it's all filtered through the prison system.

"I think if he knew what people were saying, he'd be proud he was trying to make a difference. But also guilty that his wife isn't coping."

Vietnamese community rallies to bring jailed Van Kham Chau home as niece denied prison visit .
Retired Sydney baker Van Kham Chau used to speak out at human rights protests in Canberra in the past — now the Vietnamese community is calling on Australia to bring him home after he was sentenced to 12 years in a Ho Chi Minh City prison. A retired baker from Sydney, Chau, 70, was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison in a trial that took less than five hours in Ho Chi Minh City on November 11.

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