Sunday, 18 October 2009

"No Explosives"

[Cross-Posted at GongShangFa]

This fascinating, if not exactly information-rich account written by a Canadian journalist covering the trial of six dissidents in Vietnam caught my eye:

"Floral bouquets brightened the dark wood. Steaming glasses of tea were poured.

"Good morning," an official said as she walked past. Everyone seemed to be polite and smiling, except the man who delivered the briefing about how we should behave at court.

"No explosives," he reminded us.

No cellphones either.

And don't try to do anything outside of the court, which seemed to mean don't talk to anybody.

He spoke with a white bust of Ho Chi Minh behind him next to a hammer and sickle, and a red banner that said, "Forever the glorious Communist Party of Vietnam.""