A Vietnamese-American volunteers to fight in Ukraine.  Journalist and human rights defender Pham Doan Trang receives another international recognition.  VOA's Tran Van in his blog reflects on both stories and finds a unique connection between the two.


Note:  Original text in Vietnamese.

VOA's Vietnamese Language Department reporter has been contacted with Hieu Le (1) - a character mentioned by Vietnamese-language social networks last week as one of the Vietnamese volunteers who went to Ukraine to fight against the Russian invaders. ravaging Ukraine.

Hieu - Vietnamese-American citizen, California resident, was a US soldier, during his service time in the US army, he participated in the war in Afghanistan, after being discharged, returned to Afghanistan to work for an American company that was approved by the US military. The American team selected as a contractor to provide services related to the field of intelligence, then to the city of Medellin, Columbia (a country in Central America) to open a restaurant selling Vietnamese food - decided to suspend business. to go to Ukraine, help Ukrainians defend their territory.

The US has just honored Pham Doan Trang – a Vietnamese who is serving a 9-year prison sentence in Vietnam for “ conducting propaganda against the state ” (2). Trang is one of 12 women worldwide to be awarded this year's " International Women of Courage " Award.

Mr. Antony Blinken - US Secretary of State explained very seriously why the US did what Vietnam derided as... " a farce ": In December, in Vietnam , Pham Doan Trang was sentenced to 9 years in prison for writing about democracy and human rights. She wrote about the crackdown on protesters , secretly recording police interrogations. While the media stopped printing her articles, she founded her own website. Despite facing constant threats, she continued to communicate to others about their rights ... We condemn her unjust imprisonment. We call for her immediate release .”

Mr. Marc Knapper - US Ambassador to Vietnam added: Pham Doan Trang is fearless in pursuit of an inclusive society and a broader space for free speech in Vietnam, which has attracted the recognition of international ... We attach great importance to the comprehensive partnership with Vietnam. We encourage and support a strong, prosperous and independent Vietnam . We believe , for this country to develop, this country needs openness, transparency and inclusion , respecting the rights of all citizens that Trang has been constantly seeking through articles and advocacy. mine.We applaud Trang for her work as a human rights advocate. Your bravery continues to inspire people in Vietnam and around the world ...

Why put the story related to Hieu Le and Ukraine next to the story Pham Doan Trang and Vietnam? Because there is something worth thinking about. If Ukraine does not fervently defend the basic values ​​of a country, a people as it is known, people will certainly not support Ukraine as it is now and of course will not be able to move people like Hieu Le – naturally. felt the need to put aside personal plans to do something for foreign countries like Ukraine.

If Vietnam were in the same situation as Ukraine is today, how many people feel the need to do something to support a political system, the public system has never hesitated to turn so many compatriots of these systems like Pham Doan Trang become... " inmates "? How many people of Vietnamese origin will find their way back like Hieu Le when the Vietnamese people have no chance to choose... " clown " (6) as head, when Vietnam only has " adept " individuals. "In the governance and administration of the country in the communist style, without any tricks to hold on to power, he even casually questioned those who wondered about the territorial sovereignty being controlled by foreigners. challenge, infringe, that:If there is any conflict, how unstable is the situation now, can we sit here and discuss the organization of the party congress (7)?

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