Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 17. July 18th, 1973
Colonel back at Con Son
South Vietnam has quietly reappointed Colonel Nguyen Van Ve as director of the notorious "tiger cage" prison on Con Son island, according to a statement recently issued by Amnesty Internation. A spokesman said the organisation was "appalled at the news."
Colonel Ve was director of the prison in 1970 when two American congressmen first uncovered the cramped underfloor cages used to house political prisoners, many of whom were permanently crippled by the ordeal. He was accused of having tried to prevent the congressmen from seeing the cages and was relieved of his post shortly afterwards.
Amnesty said its own sources had just sent confirmation of rumors that Colonel Ve had been shifted back into command of Con Son during a major reorganisation of the administration of South Vietnam's biggest prisons.
Amnesty also released the text of a cable sent by Mr. Sean MacBride, S.C., chairman of its International Executive Committee, to Dr. Henry Kissinger and Mr Le Due Tho, who were due to begin talks in Paris.
The cable urged that "decisive action should be taken now to ensure the protection and release" of the 100,000 civilians who Amnesty estimates are detained throughout South Vietnam. It also urged them to consider making provisions similar to those contained in the Draft Protocol which Amnesty International submitted to all the parties to the conflict last November and which covers the release, rehabilitation and resettlement of all non-criminal civilian detainees in Indochina.