Featured Image: Nguyen Van Tuc at his first instance trial in April 2018, Source: Radio Free Asia
Greetings from The 88 Project! We are bringing you news, analysis, and actions regarding human rights and civil society in Vietnam during the week of September 10-16. On September 12, Brotherhood for Democracy member and environmental activist Nguyen Trung Truc was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Two days later, another member of the Brotherhood for Democracy, Nguyen Van Tuc, had his appeal of his 13-year sentence denied. Imprisoned pro-democracy leader Tran Huynh Duy Thuc ended his hunger strike after 34 days, and labor and environmental activist Hoang Duc Binh is having ear problems in prison. Online activist Huynh Truong Ca was arrested on September 4; Facebook users Ngo Van Dung and Xuan Hong were also detained in early September, but their whereabouts remain unknown. Truong Van Kim, a former political prisoner, was attacked by undercover police for the second time in recent months. This week, we highlight the case of Nguyen Van Duc Do, a handyman who was arrested because of alleged ties to a civil society group–he’s been in detention awaiting trial for almost two years. After one human rights defender was denied entry to Vietnam ahead of the World Economic Forum, Amnesty International’s Senior Director of Global Operations was also rejected. In the news, read about dissident singer Mai Khoi and the obstacles she faces to continue performing, as well as Vietnam’s call for Facebook to set up a local office. Coming up, two more peaceful activists face trial– citizen journalist Do Cong Duong on September 17 and former teacher Dao Quang Thuc on September 19. Please take action for Tran Thi Nga, calling on Vietnam to protect her from torture in prison.
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HUMAN RIGHTS & CIVIL SOCIETY
Nguyen Van Tuc‘s appeal of his 13-year sentence was denied on September 14. Tuc’s wife said that he saw the trial as an opportunity to voice his continued support for peaceful activism, and she noted that his health situation has been more stable recently. Human Rights Watch called for his release ahead of the appeal trial. Tuc was arrested under Article 79 of the 1999 Criminal Code on September 1, 2017 for ties to the Brotherhood for Democracy and for his human rights and maritime sovereignty activism.
Facebook user Xuan Hong was allegedly detained in Ho Chi Minh City on September 2. Her family also does not know her whereabouts and has not received information on formal charges. Xuan Hong has a 30-month old daughter.
Former political prisoner and land rights activist Truong Van Kim was once again attacked by plainclothes police this past week, who beat him while he was in transit between his farm and home. He had to be hospitalized afterwards. He had also been attacked in June 2018 and April 2017.
NEWS & ANALYSIS
Vietnam urges Facebook to open office ahead of controversial cyber law: “Global tech firms have pushed back against the provisions for locally-stored data, but they have not taken the same tough stance on the parts of the law which bolster the government’s ability to crackdown on online political activism. Company officials have, however, privately expressed concerns that local data centers and offices could make it easier for the authorities to seize customer data and expose local employees to the threat of arrest.”
Land rights activist and citizen journalist Do Cong Duong will go to trial on September 17 on charges of “disturbing public order” under Article 318 of the 2015 Criminal Code, along with three others. He faces up to seven years in prison. He also faces separate charges of “abusing democratic freedoms.” Duong was arrested in January 2018 after filming a forced eviction.
Former teacher Dao Quang Thuc will face trial on September 19 in Hoa Binh province. He was arrested in October 2017 on charges of subversion under Article 79 of the 1999 Criminal Code for online postings and peaceful participation in protests over the environment and territorial disputes with China. He was just recently permitted to meet with his lawyer, despite being in detention for almost one year. His family alleges he has been tortured while imprisoned.
Take action with ACAT-France for Tran Thi Nga. Nga, an imprisoned labor rights activist, has been facing unsafe conditions in prison, having to live with a cellmate who verbally and physically assaults her. Share the news and call upon Vietnam to ensure Nga’s safety and to protect her from ill-treatment and torture.
© 2018 The 88 Project