Incident Group: Harassment of activists Truong Duy Nhat and Bach Hong Quyen while seeking asylum status abroad

The 1951 Refugee Convention considers refugees and asylum seekers as a person who has a “well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of… political opinion.” Yet, since the Vietnamese government denies the existence of political crimes in the country, the fact that there are Vietnamese citizens applying for refugee status abroad is unacceptable in the eyes of the authorities. On the other hand, it could be argued that the government wants to keep political dissenters under their control and use them in political bargaining with liberal democracies around the world, if needed.

In 2019, two prominent activists living in Thailand were constantly searched for by Thai police, in cooperation with Vietnamese government. The alleged goal of this is to destroy the evidence of their presence in Thailand and deport them back to Vietnam.

Bach Hong Quyen

Bach Hong Quyen, persecuted while seeking asylum status in Thailand (Province: Ha Noi)

Truong Duy Nhat

Truong Duy Nhat, arrested January 28, 2019 (Province: Ha Noi)

Truong Duy Nhat

Truong Duy Nhat, kidnapped from Thailand after attempting to claim asylum (Province: Ha Noi)

Bach Hong Quyen

Bach Hong Quyen, wanted by authorities since 2017 (Province: Ha Tinh)