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Republic of Vietnam Navy and
Merchant Marine Association
Kiet Van Nguyen
Vice President in charge of
External Affairs

Honorable Madeleine Korbel Albright
Secretary of State
Department of State
Washington D.C. 20520-1853

Dear Mrs. Albright:

With the inauguration of the new president in January you will have been the Secretary of State for four years. During that time you have taken firm positions on protecting the human rights of people all over the world. Your stand against the human rights abuses by the Burmese government against Aung San Suu Kyi was of particular interest to me.

I am a former Republic of Vietnam Navy seal and my comrade, Mr. Ly Tong, was in the Vietnamese Air Force. During the Vietnam War we fought for our country?reedom. I was awarded the U. S. Navy Cross for my participation in the rescue of a U.S airman with the code name BAT-21. Mr. Tong and I are American citizens and we continue to advocate freedom for our homeland.

Mr. Tong was shot down during the war and spent five years in a re-education camp before he was able to escape. It took him nearly two years to walk out of the jungles of Vietnam and reach the United States. At present he is being held in Thailand for distributing leaflets over Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City).

Mr. Tong has suffered enough for his dedication to freedom. I am asking that the State Department seek his release from Thailand and return him to the United States for humanitarian reasons.

Kiet Van Nguyen

Ly Tong is a former Vietnamese Air Force pilot who enlisted at the age of 15. He was shot down during the final days of the Vietnam War. The North Vietnamese Army captured him and he spent five years in a reeducation camp. He escaped and spent two years traversing the jungles of Vietnam before he showed up in Singapore. He moved to the United States.

He earned a master's degree and made the dean's list at the University of New Orleans.

He hijacked an Air Vietnam Airbus and forced the pilot to fly over Saigon. After dumping antigovernment leaflets over the city he parachuted into a swamp. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was released in September of 1998.

He flew over Havana on New Years Day, 2000, and distributed antigovernment leaflets. He flew back to Miami where the FFA suspended his pilots license.

Mr. Tong went to Bankok Thailand (November 18, 2000) where he flew over Saigon again and distibuted antigovernment leaflets. Upon his return to Bankok he was arrested. He is now in prison awaiting trial.

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