Le Duc Dong

Current Status: Released - at risk

Photo of Le Duc Dong

Other Names: Lê Đức Động

Date of Birth: 1983

Gender: M

Religion: Buddhist (An Đàn Đại Đạo)

Ethnicity: Kinh

Last Known Prison: An Diem prison, Dai Loc district, Quang Nam province

Areas of Activism:

  • Religious freedom

Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:

  • Former Political Prisoner

Le Duc Dong was released from An Diem Prison on Feb. 5 after serving a 12-year sentence. A member of the non-state affiliated Buddhist sect An Dan Dai Dao, Dong was convicted in 2012 for distributing “anti-state propaganda” under Article 79 of the 1999 Penal Code.

Details - Background, History of Activism.

Le Duc Dong 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 5, 2012. Sentenced to 12 years in prison under Art. 79 (1999 Code). Released February 5, 2024.

February 5, 2012
  • Art. 79 (1999 Code)
January, 2013
12 years in prison
February 5, 2024
February 5, 2024

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 arrested on February 5, 2012, and sentenced to 12 years in prison and 5 years of probation. He is currently held in An Diem Prison, Dai Hung Commune, Dai Loc District, Quang Nam Province.

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: 2024-02-10 16:20:50

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