Doan Dinh Nam

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Doan Dinh Nam

Other Names: Đoàn Đình Nam

Date of Birth: 1951

Gender: M

Religion: Buddhist (An Đàn Đại Đạo)

Ethnicity: Kinh

Current Prison: Xuyen Moc prison, Ba Ria-Vung Tau province

Areas of Activism:

  • Religious freedom

June 2019:

Doan Dinh Nam, 68, currently serving his 16-year sentence at Xuyen Moc Detention Center, is in a dangerous health situation, with damaged kidneys. Therefore, his family sent a request to cancel his sentence and allow him to be taken care of in the last days of his life and die at home. However, instead of approving their request, the public security of Phu Yen Province went to their house and threatened them to not attempt to generate support for Nam. Nam’s family is so poor that they have hardly visited Nam since he has been in prison.

Fellow political prisoner Phan Van Thu's wife has reported that he is also in very poor health. Thu's family has filed to suspend his sentence on medical grounds, but authorities denied their petition. Both Nam and Thu are members of the Council for the Laws and Public Affairs of Bia Son. Members of the group are now appealing to the international community for support in their cases

Details - Background, History of Activism.

Doan Dinh Nam is a member of An Dan Dai Dao, a Buddhist sect founded in 1969 but outlawed after the Communist regime took over South Vietnam in April 1975.

The religious group ran an eco-tourist company at the Da Bia Tourist Resort in Phu Yen Province. They signed a contract with the local authorities to engage in protecting the forest and environment. The group believed in the prophecies of Nguyen Binh Khiem, a 16th century oracle or Vietnamese equivalent of Nostradamus, and dreamed of building a new “Utopia” in which science, nature and humankind would be harmoniously balanced. They organized conferences and produced leaflets to disseminate their beliefs. According to reports in the state-run media, the group had several hundred members and sections in several central and southern provinces.

Arrested February 6, 2012. Sentenced to 16 years in prison under Art. 79 (1999 Code). Expected Release is February 6, 2028.

February 6, 2012
  • Art. 79 (1999 Code)
January, 2013
16 years in prison
February 6, 2028

He is one of 22 members of An Dan Dai Dao Buddhist sect arrested in February 2012 under Art. 258 and tried under Art. 79 of the 1999 Penal Code by Phú Yên People’s Court in January 2013, in what is called the "Council for the Laws and Public Affairs of Bia Son" affair. The group was charged with subversion and accused of writing documents critical of the government, setting up two companies and investing in an eco-tourism park as a cover for recruiting supporters. However, those affiliated with the group maintained that the activities of the group were purely religious and that the authorities interpreted their religious teaching in political terms. Human rights groups and supporters consider the arrests a repression by the State of the peaceful religious group. 

He was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment with five years’ house arrest on release. He is currently held in Section K3, Prison T345 in Xuyen Moc District, Ba Ria- Vung Tau Province, and suffers from poor health.

February 2013:

The Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and three UN Special Rapporteurs sent a letter to the Vietnamese government regarding the case of the 22 members of the Bia Son Council for Public Law and Affairs, expressing their concerns regarding the fairness of their trial and the motivations behind their arrests. They asked for further information about the case and how the arrests are compatible with international law. 

Profile last updated: 2019-06-16 21:59:39

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