The ICJ, with the support of 39,000 jurists, judges and professors of law in 62 countries throughout the world, wishes to make known the texts of two cables sent on January 28 and February 14, 1961 directly to the Minister of Justice of South Vietnam, Nguyen Luong.
They expressed the deep interest in the fate of Dr. Phan-Quang-Dan, leader of the Democratic Party of South Vietnam, and other Vietnamese who have disappeared subsequent to the abortive coup in Saigon on November 11, 1960. The Commission wishes to stress the point that to date no reply has been received to either of the following cables nor to a letter of confirmation dated January 31, 1961:
1. 28 January, 1961:
MINISTER OF JUSTICE, SAIGON
THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF JURISTS WHICH IS SUPPORTED BY 39,000 JUDGES LAWYERS PROFESSORS OF LAW THROUGHOUT THE WORLD AND HAVING AS ITS GOAL THE PROMOTION AND REINFORCEMENT OF THE RULE OF LAW FOUNDED UPON RESPECT FOR FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES HAS RECEIVED VARIOUS INQUIRIES CONCERNING THE DISAPPEARANCE OF WELLKNOWN VIETNAMESE PEOPLE INCLUDING DR PHAN-QUANG-DAN AND DR. DIN-XUANG-QUANG STOP WE WOULD BE GRATEFUL IF YOUR EXCELLENCY COULD SEND US INFORMATION AS A MATTER OF IMMEDIATE URGENCY STOP LETTER FOLLOWS .
JEAN FLAVIEN LALIVE
2. 14 February, 1961:
MINISTER OF JUSTICE , SAIGON
FURTHER TO MY TELEGRAM 28 AND LETTER 31 JANUARY CONCERNING THE DISAPPEARANCE OF SEVERAL WELLKNOWN VIETNAMESE PEOPLE STOP DUE TO VERY RECENT INFORMATION FROM PRESS AND DIRECT PRIVATE SOURCES WITH RESPECT TO DR. PHAN-QUANG-DAN WHICH AROUSES CONCERN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF JURISTS REPEATS ITS REQUEST FOR INFORMATION AND ASKS YOU KINDLY TO REPLY BY CABLE TO THE QUESTIONS POSED PARTICULARLY CONCERNING THE CONDITION OF DR. DAN.
JEAN FLAVIEN LALIVE
The failure of the Vietnamese Minister of Justice to reply to either of the above cables leads the International Commission of Jurists to make publicly known its grave concern over the actual fate of Dr. Dan and the manner in which other Vietnamese may be held in preventive detention without trial, arraignment or charge. Such practice would be contrary to the basic principles of the Rule of Law.
Under these circumstances the Commission feels that world legal opinion is entitled to be informed by the Government of South Vietnam as to the exact whereabouts of Dr. Dan and also to be given full details with respect to other possible detainees.
The International Commission of Jurists is a non-governmental and non-political organization which has Consultative Status, Category “B”, with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Its main objective is – through practical action – to clarify, promote and defend the Rule of Law, to strengthen the legal procedures end institutions associated therewith in those countries where the Rule of Law is already established and to obtain its acceptance wherever it is denied. Among its latest undertakings was the organization of an African Conference on the Rule of Law held in January, 1961, in Lagos, Nigeria, where a great number of African jurists met to discuss several topics relating to the administration of justice and fundamental rights in the new states of Africa.
In the field of publications the International Commission issued in 1960 a detailed report on South Africa and the Rule of Law. The report of its Legal Inquiry Committee on Tibet and the People’s Republic of China was also published in that year. The Commission is at the present time investigating matters concerning the administration of justice and, more generally, the question of violation of human rights in Angola (Portuguese Africa), Cuba and the Dominican Republic.AdvocacyOpen letters