Family Alleges Prison Deprived Dang Dinh Bach of Food

Below is a letter from Tran Phuong Thao, wife of imprisoned climate leader Dang Dinh Bach. In it, she alleges Prison No. 6 in Nghe An province deliberately withheld a package of food from Bach, leaving him to have essentially no access to food for two weeks. This serious allegation should be thoroughly investigated by the international community. 

Bach, who is serving five years in prison on spurious charges of tax evasion, has been subjected to harsh prison conditions and has undertaken numerous hunger strikes in protest. His family has also faced constant harassment from the Vietnamese authorities, even threatening the confiscation of their home.


Hanoi, 13.03.2024 ~

Dear friends, colleagues and international organizations

I came home yesterday (March 12) at 9PM after visiting my husband Đặng Đình Bách in Prison No. 6, Nghe An province. I left home (in Hanoi) at 9PM the day before (March 11), which means twenty three hours on the road to see and talk to Bách through a glass pane for one hour, and to bring him the 5kg of dried vegetarian food allowed by the Vietnamese authorities, vital for his survival.

This letter is going to be short, because there is no amelioration to Bách’s detention situation to report. It has gotten even worse, so bad that I have been feeling suffocated from anxiety for Bách’s health and safety, as the prison seemed to increase their policy of deprivation of food by not handing over the 6kg of food I sent Bách per post on Feb 28.

This food parcel was the only nutrition source ch would get for the last 2 weeks, as he depends entirely on his family’s supplies to eat vegetarian and safe food. In his last phone call on Feb. 2, Bach had already informed me that he was running out of food. 

VN Post recorded that parcel 475790 (sent by me on Feb 28) was delivered on March 4 at 9:25:33 to a prison warden named San. But the parcel never reached Bách, and my husband was left without food for the last 2 weeks.

“Every two or three days, the canteen sold me something,” Bách said, “and my teeth are getting loose.”

Bách would like to thank

    Ms. Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Irene Khan, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Mr. Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.; Mr. David Boyd, Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment; Mr. Marcos A. Orellana, Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes; Ms. Priya Gopalan (Chair-Rapporteur), Mr. Matthew Gillett (Vice-Chair on Communications), Ms. Ganna Yudkivska (Vice-Chair on Follow-Up), Ms. Miriam Estrada-Castillo, and Mr. Mumba Malila – Working Group on arbitrary detention,

for urging the Government of Viet Nam to stop targeting, convicting, and mistreating him 

      Chairman Cardin for mentioning him and calling for his release in the Truth to Power series of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee SFRC.

As last week Vietnam and Vanuatu sought advice from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on national climate change obligations, Bách puts his trust in the wisdom and farsightedness of his friends and colleagues to monitor Vietnam’s national commitment on climate change issue.

Bách would like to wish you all endurance, peace of mind, and harmony.


Yours faithfully,

Tran Phuong Thao (Mrs)