One form of psychological abuse in Vietnamese prisons is sending political prisoners to a mental institution against their will, even though they have no history of mental illnesses. Le Anh Hung‘s case is one example. Hung, a blogger and reporter, often wrote articles sharply criticizing the Vietnamese government and its corruption. He was detained in a mental health facility in 2013 after the police came and arrested him at his workplace. Hung was arrested again on July 8, 2018 under Article 331 of the 2015 Criminal Code for “abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of organizations and individuals” and has been in pre-trial detention since then. On April 1, 2019, the investigation agency suddenly transferred Hung to the Central Mental Hospital. On April 24, prison authorities transferred Hung back to prison after the evaluation at the mental health hospital. In May 2019, he was again sent to a mental health hospital. After being treated so brutally, Hung looked very thin, unhealthy, and completely exhausted. He called on people to protest for him and to request the authorities to stop his forced mental health treatment. In June 2019, Hung’s mother sent an application to authorities asking to release Hung to be able to care for him at the family’s home, as he was in poor health and spirits after being subjected to forced mental health treatment while detained. Prior to his detention, she confirmed that Hung was healthy physically and mentally.
The 88 Project interviewed Ms. Tran Thi Niem, Hung’s mother, recently about his current condition. She called on the international community to advocate for Hung’s release.
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