Does Nguyen Quang A deserve the Human Rights Tulip Award?


The Human Rights Tulip (Dutch: Mensenrechtentulp) is an annual prize awarded by the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs to a human rights defender or organization who promotes and supports human rights in innovative ways. The Human Rights Tulip was established in 2007 and presented for the first time on 10 December 2008. It is intended to support human rights defenders and organisations, publicize their efforts and inspire others.
This year of 2016, from amongst 91 nominees from around the world, 10 nominees were selected by the NGO Justice & Peace. The 10 nominees are: Mwatana Organization For Human Rights (Yemen), Mr Pierre Claver Mbonimpa (Burundi), Ms Nighat Dad (Pakistan), the El Nadim Center (Egypt), Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres (Mexico), the native community of Santa Clara de Uchunya (Peru), Centro Prodh (Mexico), Mr Nguyn Quang A (Vietnam), Ms Nahid Gabralla (Sudan) and the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE) (Lebanon).
Out of the top 3 nominees chosen by public vote, foreign minister Bert Koenders will select the winner, whom he will present with the award – a bronze tulip-shaped statue - on International Human Rights Day, 10 December.
A surprising thing when Nquyen Quang A, an anti-government individuals in Vietnam, somehow, has been nominated for this award. According to the link (, email:, Justice & Peace selected Nguyen Quang A because he encourages citizens to claim their rights, which are enshrined in the Constitution in Vietnam; and he inspires a large number of young people with his approach. But, does he deserve the Tulip award?
To the jury of Human Rights Tulip 2016 and The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, thousands of Vietnamese people, at home and abroad, strongly disagree and protest his selection.
First, his attention of action is not for promoting human rights but for his own economic gain. He was once funded by the Vietnamese government to study overseas and while all his counterparts had to go to war to protect the motherland from American invasion, he had the opportunity to study in Hungary in order to serve his homeland better when he finished the study. When he came back to Vietnam, he was given a good position at the Technical Academy of Army. However, showing his incapability as a scientist at the Academy, he left the job to pursue his business as computer seller. Even though he was not a capable scientist, he proved to be a “smart” businessman by faking the company’s net investment – from $4000 USD to $500.000 USD to be able to partner with a French company. He successfully tricked the French company to invest in his business but the company continued to fail. After that, he founded another company to sell computers, which was named 3C. And he continued to commit tax fraud which brought the end to 3C. Despite his successive failure, he still managed to accumulate a great fortune of millions of dollars. To many people, this is quite difficult to know where all that money comes from. Mr Quang A is surely not a person of transparency. Ending his business career as a businessman with too many faults, he decided to move on to another kind of business: establishing a think-tank called IDS. With the support from many key members in the government, IDS quickly gained international attention and started to receive fund as well as cooperation from Harvard University. Again, tax fraud and not enough transparency of operation, IDS was closed after about two years of functioning. After IDS, Mr Quang A and other IDS’s former members became actively criticizing the Vietnamese government to gain popular attention. Right here, many people have no choice but to question the motives of Mr Quang A. Whether he became an activist because he wanted to change Vietnam for the better, or it’s just another economic venture. It seems that this venture hasn’t brought him much profit as he has to fund demonstrations, prizes, reporters, journalists, bloggers. And now, his political investment might have a first ever official foreign aid if he wins the Human Rights Tulip 2016.
Second, his SOS book translation was a disaster in terms of articulation and fluency. I am sure if the authors whose books have been translated by Mr Quang A such as: Larry Diamond, Lisa Anderson, Paul J. Carnegie…could read Vietnamese, they would be startled by the quality of his translation. No wonder why after 15 years of translating books, he still hasn’t dared to define himself as a book translator. And his books haven’t get enough attention for the same reasons. How can young Vietnamese who are beginners and starting to pick up some political terms understand what those leading experts in politics and democracy write by reading the translation of Mr Quang A? Moreover, the way he randomly chooses books to translate also reveals that he does not have a strong political background. He does not select books to help readers have an overview of different political idealism. He was fond of the idea of democracy and so he focuses only on translating democratic transition in the world. For what purpose? Is democracy the only option for Vietnam? Are human rights all about democracy? Human rights are about how to live better in terms of health care, environment, and intellectual curiosity. Criticizing the government or demonstration on the streets doesn’t always help. In fact, the oppression machine of the Vietnamese government is getting stronger and more daring. If Mr Quang A chooses to be a messenger of knowledge and wisdom, he has to train himself to translate, to write, to speak and to spread good ideas better. He cannot continue being an amateur translator forever.
Third, the Civil Society Forum, which he starts, hasn’t done anything besides signing appeals or calls for action since its establishment in 2013. The Forum consists of many Vietnamese intellectuals but they haven’t contributed anything significant to the Vietnamese intellectual environment. They gather under them many unemployed people who just want to go on the streets to scream and then drink alcohol. The impression of a Vietnamese human right activist is very often similar to a lazy chronic drinker. A bunch of drinkers and a handful of incapable intellectuals are leading the democratic transition in Vietnam. Not difficult at all for us to foresee the future of human rights in Vietnam.
          Human Rights Tulip Award is a distinguished and honorable prize and therefore it must find the true and well-deserved winner. Mr Nguyen Quang A is not that person. We would like to have the jury of Human Rights Tulip 2016’s and The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ attention so that the jury can make a better informed and more just decision. Nguyen Quang A does not deserve to this award, we look forwards to see your wise decision and great contribution to the human rights movement worldwide./.
Chia sẻ bài viết ^^
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All comments [ 13 ]

Jane smartnic 11/10/16 10:28

I don't know this award, but if it is given to man like Nguyen Quang A, it is not a serious award.

LawrenceSamuels 11/10/16 10:32

Many human rights awards have not given to a rights persons, even nominees do not deserve to. So do not surprise when hear something like this.

Gentle Moon 11/10/16 10:33

Tulip award or just bullshit award!

John Smith 11/10/16 10:35

Mr Quang A is surely not a person of transparency, even in his business and human rights activities.

yobro yobro 11/10/16 10:37

The organizers of this award should consider carefully about this nominee if they want to keep its privilege.

Love Peace 11/10/16 10:40

No one would believe that Nguyen Quang A was nominated for this award. I think he is just a criminal or a anti-governmental element.

MaskOf Zero 11/10/16 18:40

His activities do not bring any good things to the country's interests and to human rights or democracy to be awarded.

Deck Hero14 11/10/16 18:42

It's so ridiculous and stupid that any human rights prize would be given to him.

Only Solidar 11/10/16 18:51

The answer is totally "NO".

Pack Cassiopian 11/10/16 20:07

Looking his face, there's no faith in this. I don't think he actually care about human rights or anyone's rights. Just for his benefits.

John Smith 11/10/16 20:09

He and his fellows should be charged for what they have done not be awarded, even it's a trivial one.

MaskOf Zero 11/10/16 20:13

Never see some one who violated a country's laws can be awarded. The Dutch government should take it seriously to not harm the two nations' relationship.

Thành Đoàn Đào 31/10/16 18:46

I hope not!

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