Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 15:27:40 -0500 (EST)
From: "Neal T. Doyle" 
Subject: urgent action for human rights

Dear Concerned Party,
Below you will find a letter addressed to the Minister of Interior of
Vietnam. The letter concerns the condition and imprisonment of four
Catholic brothers and two priests who were imprisoned by the Vietnamese
government 10 years ago. The international human rights organization
Amnesty International is currently mobilizing concerned people throughout
the world to help free the six men through a letter-writing campaign.
It is the hope of Amnesty International that the sheer volume of
letters will help those in prison. You may copy the sample letter below
on your own stationary or compose your own letters, using the sample
letters as guides. Letters should be courteous in tone. Airmail postage is
60 cents for a one-page letter. Please feel free to forward this
information to any others that may be able to help. Thank you for your

Minister of Interior Le Minh Huong
Ministry of Interior
Tran Binh Trong
Ha Noi
Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Dear Minister:

It has been more than 10 years since four Roman Catholic brothers and two
priests were arrested in Vietnam for expressing their religious beliefs. I
call upon you to bring to an end the wrongful imprisonment they have
endured for the past decade.

Brother Nguyen Chau Dat (aged 72), Brother Mai Duc Chuong (aged 66),
Brother Nguyen Thien Phung (aged 46), Brother Nguyen Van Thin (aged 45),
Reverend Dinh Viet Hieu (aged 58) and Reverend Pham Ngoc Lien (aged 55)
are members of the Congregation of the Mother Coredemptrix, a Catholic
evangelical order founded in Vietnam in 1942. They were arrested in May
1987 for holding training courses and distributing religious books without
government permission. All were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment,
mostly between 18 and 20 years. The human rights organization Amnesty
International considers these men to be prisoners of conscience, and it
has expressed concern about the health of the men, who reportedly suffer
from a variety of medical maladies. 

I am aware that your government exercises strict control over religious
institutions in Vietnam and that members of churches not officially
recognized may be detained under national security legislation. I fear
that this infringement of one of the most basic of human rights-- the
right to express one's faith-- could prove to be an impediment in the
developing friendship between our nations. That would be unfortunate, as I
feel we have much to give to one another.

I ask you to grant the immediate release of the above-mentioned men. While
their release is pending, I urge you to ensure that they receive
appropriate medical care and nutrition. I thank you for your attention to
this matter, and I look forward to hearing from you about its resolution.

                                                    (your name)