Push to get elderly Sydney father out of Vietnamese prison

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As the 72-year-old's health deteriorates, his family fears they will never see him again. 9News

Chau Van Kham is serving a 12-year sentence in Vietnam's Thu Doc Prison after he was arrested in the country in 2019 for being a member of pro-democracy group Viet Tan.Chau Van Kham being escorted on the day of his trial, and standing in court: the only images his family has seen of him since his arrest in January 2019.

His family have had little contact with him since, sending medication from Australia to a relative to deliver to the prison."My family very sad, very lonely," she said."We don't know how much longer he has," son Dennis Chau said.Chau Van Kham should be enjoying his retirement but instead the Western Sydney man is languishing in a Vietnam jail."We are very worried about him," barrister Michael Polak said.

Mr Polak has made submissions to the United Nations, claiming the Sydney father was given an "unfair trial"."We're fairly confident they'll be on our side on this, what that will give is it will give the Australian Government further ammunition to say, you're holding an Australian citizen, he hasn't had a fair trial, you need to release him," Mr Polak said.

"We have been making very senior representations to the Vietnamese authorities, including in person on my part, to the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister when I was in Hanoi at the end of last year and I raised it again with the Foreign Minister ... last week," she said.


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