Elk Grove pro-democracy activist Nguyen Quoc Quan completed a three-day hunger strike Wednesday night across from the White House in support of Vietnamese human rights lawyer Cu Huy Ha Vu.
Vu is on the 18th day of a hunger strike demanding more humane conditions in Vietnam's jails and prisons. He has been imprisoned since last November on charges of trying to overthrow the communist government.
"This is a global movement," said Nancy Tran of Sacramento's TNT Vietnamese radio, who joined the hunger strike Wednesday, along with Vietnamese Americans in Pasadena and San Francisco.
"Vu's the first in Vietnam to file a lawsuit against the prime minister for alleged abuse of power," Tran said. "He's in jail now, has a lot of problems with his heart, they don't give him needed medicine, verbally abuse him, didn't give him his books."
Quan said he endured similar ordeals during his two terms in prison for promoting nonviolent protest in his native Vietnam.
He began his hunger strike with his wife, Ngo Mai Huong, on Monday after former political prisoner Pham Hong Son and blogger Pham Thanh Nghien staged hunger strikes in support of Vu.
Call The Bee's Stephen Magagnini, (916) 321-1072. Follow him on Twitter @stevemagagnini.