Vo Van Ai

Vo Van Ai is the founder and editor of QuĂȘ Me (Homeland), a Paris-based monthly magazine that circulates among Vietnamese communities around the world and clandestinely inside Vietnam. He is also the founder and president of the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights, and vice-president of the International Federation of Human Rights, a nongovernmental organization accredited to the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and UNESCO. Born in Central Vietnam in 1938, Vo Van Ai was first arrested at the age of 11 for his activities in the Vietnamese Resistance Movement for Independence. In 1964, he became the overseas representative of the United Buddhist Church of Vietnam. In the late 1970s, he played a key role in calling world attention to the plight of political prisoners in Vietnam and helped to launch the first rescue ship to save boat people in the South China Sea. In addition to numerous reports on human rights in Vietnam, his published works include books of poetry, essays, and philosophy, as well as studies of Buddhism and Vietnamese history.