Vo Van Ai is a Vietnamese human rights defender, journalist, historian, and poet. He is the founder and president of Que Me: Action for Democracy in Vietnam, an organization that seeks to increase international awareness of the human rights situation under the Vietnamese communist regime. He is also the founder and president of the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights. Ai was arrested and tortured at the age of 11 for participating in the Vietnamese independence movement. In 1964, he became the spokesperson for the United Buddhist Church of Vietnam, which is currently banned in Vietnam. After Vietnam’s unification in 1975, he helped create the first comprehensive map of “re-education camps.”
Ai is a well-known author and historian. In addition to numerous articles, he has written 17 books of poetry and essays, as well as studies on Buddhism and Vietnamese history, and is a contributor to The Wall Street Journal. Ai is a specialist on human rights and religious freedom issues and contributes regularly to reports and testimonies to the United Nations, U.S. Congress, and European Parliament. Ai continues to work with Que Me: Action for Democracy advocating for Vietnamese human rights.