The Impact of Indifference Vo Van Ai

2009 Oslo Freedom Forum
May 20, 2009

Writer and poet Vo Van Ai laments the indifference that the international community has shown to the human rights situation in Vietnam and explains the impact this indifference has on its citizens. He describes the persecution faced by activists peacefully struggling for human rights under the communist regime. He tells the story of how, at age 11, he was arrested, tortured, and narrowly escaped execution, all because of his participation in a resistance movement. Ai leaves the audience with a warning against a new alliance between dictatorships, both left-wing and right-wing, that is actively trying to stifle freedom throughout the world.