Chị X sinh ra trong một gia đình nọ theo giáo hội A. Đến khi lớn lên và vào đại học, chị đổi sang giáo hội B. Khi về nhà, chị truyền đạo B cho bố mẹ vốn đạo A. Bố mẹ của chị X không chịu nghe và còn đưa chị X đến ông giáo sĩ Y để trừ quỷ. Ông giáo sĩ Y không đồng tình với quan điểm giáo lý B và bảo rằng cô gái X bị quỷ ám và cần đưa vào nhà kín để trừ quỷ, được sự đồng ý của gia đình chị Y. Ông giáo sĩ Y và bố mẹ chị Y giam chị trong một căn phòng nhỏ, thiếu ánh sáng, thiếu tắm rửa. Hỏi: Đã đủ bằng chứng để chứng minh rằng giáo hội A và ông giáo sĩ Y vi phạm nhân quyền và phạm tội bắt giam người trái phép hay chưa? Lưu ý rằng chị X nói rằng không còn liên hệ phụ thuộc vào giáo hội A và gia đình trước khi bị bắt đem giam vào ngục tối hơn một năm, giữa thế kỷ XXI này.
Câu chuyện này là có thật, do một số đồng đạo của chị B nói với phóng viên của Hội sinh viên nhân quyền. Chúng ta hãy cùng phân tích sự việc.
- Chị X đang đi học đại học, nghĩa là đã trên 18 tuổi, do đó chị X không còn thuộc sở hữu của bố mẹ. Việc chị X đang bình thường mà bị nhốt vào ngục , viện cớ gia đình cho phép là không đúng. Bởi vì, gia đình không có quyền hạn gì trên một người đã trưởng thành.
- Chị X không còn thuộc giáo hội A. Kể từ khi chị X cải đạo từ giáo hội A sang giáo hội B thì chị X thuộc sự quản lý của giáo hội B chứ không phải thuộc sự quản lý của giáo hội A.
- Chị X chưa hề có bất kỳ giấy chứng nhận là điên loạn hay nguy hiểm cho cộng đồng từ bất kỳ cơ quan pháp y , bệnh viên hay bất kỳ cơ quan chính quyền nào.
- Ông giáo sĩ Y không phải là cơ quan công quyền nhà nước, do đó không được quyền giam giữ chị X. Cơ sở thờ tự của tôn giáo A không có giấy phép giam giữ người. Vậy đoàn thể tôn giáo A và ông giáo sĩ Y đang thực hiện hành vi giam giữ người trái phép, trái với quy định của pháp luật nước Cộng hòa xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam.Do đó, chắc chắn rằng đoàn thể tôn giáo A và ông giáo sĩ Y đang vi phạm pháp luật của chế độ Việt Nam, và vi phạm những giá trị nhân quyền mà chính họ đang cổ vũ.Hội sinh viên nhân quyền Việt Nam mong muốn đoàn thể tôn giáo A và ông giáo sĩ Y nhanh chóng thả nữ sinh viên X, trước khi sự việc trở nên bị đưa ra ánh sáng và gây nên những đổ vỡ không mong muốn.
Ngày 27 tháng 09 năm 2017
Hội sinh viên nhân quyền Việt Nam.
Bài viết thuộc Chương trình bảo vệ nhân phẩm nữ sinh, một chương trình do Hội sinh viên nhân quyền Việt Nam chủ trì.
SOS: university student Le Thi Kim Lien has been unlawfully chained up for more than a year without the knowledge of the authority
University student Le Thi Kim Lien, born 1997, of Quang Binh origin, who moved to Sai Gon and converted to a new religious belief. Once she returned home, initially her family and other relatives did not approve of her opinion. After a period of time, the family took her to an exorcist house, even though she was not possessed and was totally normal. Kim Lien has been confined since the spring of 2016. She has been determined not to kiss the cross attached with the figure, and refused to come to the site of worship of her previous religion. Her actions were interpreted as being possessed, which led her to be confined for more than a year until now.
In a photo taken with her boyfriend along with the statuses, Kim Lien debated with her family members and other relatives about whether each person’s religious opinion was right or wrong. Considering the wording used throughout the exchanges between the both sides, it is obvious that Kim Lien was conscious and fully aware of what she was saying and writing about.
After getting converted to a new religion, Kim Lien viewed worshipping a cross attached with a figure to be wrongful, and was determined not to come to the site of worship, whose way of worshipping she viewed to be heavily idolized and hence sinful. However, that was not what her family thought, and they brought her to the clergymen for exorcism.
These clergymen, who thought Kim Lien was severely possessed by the devil, locked her up. They have chained Lien’s leg up with a bed and prevented her from leaving the room for more than a year. Every time they passed a meal to her, they would sprinkle some kind of water into the food… Believing in the words of one clergyman into thinking that their daughter had actually been possessed by a devil, the family without a second thought allowed the clergymen to beat her up in order to ‘silent’ the ‘devil’.
Kim Lien has already passed the age of being considered to be mature under the law. Regardless of it being her parents or relatives, there is no rights or justification in coercing Kim Lien into a place or position against her will.
Confining Kim Lien in a dark and closed room for more than a year is undoubtedly considered to be an unlawful, if not brutal and sadistic, act in the XXI century.
There has been no official diagnosis from any hospital or medical specialist to confirm that Kim Lien has indeed ever been mentally ill or behaving erratically. Furthermore, the site of religious worship is not a place for detaining a person.
To say that it was Kim Lien’s very own parents’ permission to allow the religious organization to detain Kim Lien in justifying her detention is also invalid, as Kim Lien is now over 18 years old and hence has every right to choose her own religious group as well as her own spiritual belief, in accordance with the human rights’ values under the name of Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Based on such willful detention against a person’s will, criminal charges are entirely applicable against the group of clergymen who has been detaining Kim Lien for the past more than one year. Had Kim Lien not been detained by such religious organization, she could have been a third year university student and about to graduate from her course by now.
Kim Lien had reportedly never been showing any sign of bodily self-harm, and even had been seen just as smiley and cheerful as any other religious followers. Nor has any of her schoolmates ever declared that she has been possessed by a devil. She was forced into a house that was said to be for exorcism and then has been unlawfully detained there simply due to her new religious opinion. To say that it is due to being possessed by a devil that Kim Lien renounced her family’s traditional religion in order to follow a new spiritual belief, would that also mean that people who are working towards religious reformation are also being possessed by devils?
In the country of Vietnam, there have been many cases of religious conversion and they have never been seen as due to being possessed. Or, should atheism now also be considered as due to being possessed by devils?
Currently the incident has reached the knowledge of many individuals as well as human rights advocacy organizations, which will stir a controversy and scrutiny in the public all across Vietnam. The Facebook account of Le Thi Kim Lien has been backed up, in case of someone trying to delete it in order to destroy the evidence. Whatever the kind of argument one can come up with in justifying such action, if there has yet to be any arrest warrant against a person presented by a representative body from the government of Socialist Republic of Vietnam, then there is no reason for that person to be detained.
And thus, the Vietnamese Students for Human Rights Association demands the religious organization that is detaining the student Le Thi Kim Lien to release her immediately and unconditionally, in order to avoid any further damage or regretful consequences towards her from happening.
Vietnamese Students for Human Rights Association.
The article is a part of the Project for Protecting the Dignity of Female Students, as led by the Vietnamese Students for Human Rights Association.
To answer the question of whether the detention, of more than one year, inside the exorcism house, of the student Le Thi Kim Lien from the school of tourism of Ho Chi Minh city, was wrongful or justified, a Pastor of Evangelical denomination, who is also a human rights activist in Vietnam, has sent a letter responding to this question, as asked by the Students for Human Rights Association to him.
As quoted from the letter:
I have several legal aspects that need to be clarified as follows:
- In accordance with the Vietnamese constitution.
- As a mature adult, Miss Lien has every qualification as a citizen to exercise her right to FREEDOM OF BELIEF AND RELIGION.
- Miss Lien is to exercise such right in accordance with the constitution 2013, Article 24, Chapter 2, which states that a citizen has the right to:
- Choose to follow a belief or religion of their choice, or not to follow any belief or religion.
- To be respected and protected by the law. In particular, under the law that prohibits the violation of the freedom of belief and religion, and the law that prohibits unlawful acts done under the name of freedom of belief and religion.
- In accordance with International Law.
- The International Declaration of Human Rights on 10th December 1948, Article 18.
- The International Convention for Civil and Political Rights 1966, also in Article 18.
All of the aforementioned articles stated that the rights to follow a religion, or to convert to another religion, or to renounce a religion, are the rights that are to be protected under the International Law, and whoever violates these rights are also violating International Law. There are many other legal articles in the Vietnamese as well as International Laws, such as United Nations’ Charter 1945, or both of the Vietnamese Civil Law and Penal Code, which also consider the freedom of belief and religion a right to be protected.
Dear readers, the harm done from detaining Miss Lien under the hands of her parents and the religious organization, whose justification are for religious reason or under the name of religion, does constitute criminal offence, as it is:
- Unlawful arrest and detention of a person.
- A violation of the civil right to freedom of belief and religion.
- Causing damages to the person’s dignity and reputation.
- Causing damages to the person’s physical and psychological wellbeing, as well as destroying the person’s prospects of education and career.
These are my analyses of the legal aspects.
If the situation turns detrimental, such as Miss Lien facing dangers towards her life due to her religious faith, we have every right to demand the law to intervene in the matter and urgently rescue Miss Lien.
Conflicts in religious beliefs can be inherently complex and sensitive, due to a number of reasons:
- Family tradition becoming the ‘customary law’. This can also happen with religious tradition.
- Lack of awareness about the law.
- Poor ability to analyze religious issue critically.
- A society being severely deprived of freedom, liberty, justice, fairness, inability for civilized behaviours and mannerisms, as well as deprivation of assistance from Civil Society Organizations.
- I fully understand that with matters as damaging as this, the authority takes an important role. However, their response is merely being ‘It’s up to them…’.
While it is necessary for us to do whatever we can to help Miss Lien, it is also essential to understand the sensitivity and subtlety of the matter, in order to maintain our calmness and composure while dealing with this situation, if we are to have the ability to patiently engage with those religious officials and leaders, and to build our credibility while negotiating with these people.
I wish you all strive towards peace, justice and fairness in order to build our country a better place.
The end of the main content of the letter.
Pastor Duong Kim Khai also responded to us when we asked for his comment on this matter as follow:
‘If this incident happens to be true, first of all the unlawfulness of the act in accordance with the current Vietnamese laws has already been stated in the quote by the Pastors. Secondly, it is also a violation of human rights in accordance with the United Nations’ Charter and Convention on International human rights, also as quoted above (by the aforementioned Pastor).
I highly condemn the behaviour of the previous religious group of her sisters and her family, which went against the morality of the religion and the belief. It is at the same time against the current Vietnamese laws both in terms of civil and criminal laws, as well as it being a blatant breach of the Charter and human rights as stated under the International Law.’
If you have any disagreeing opinion to this article, please send it to this address: email@example.com. The sender please also clearly state their personal contact details, or the contact details of the organization they are representing. Students for Human Rights Association does not accept messages from unnamed sources or blackmails.