Le Anh Hung

Current Status: Pre-trial detention

Photo of Le Anh Hung

Other Names: Lê Anh Hùng

Date of Birth: August 27, 1973

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Journalist

Current Prison: Prison No. 2, Thuong Tin district, Hanoi

Areas of Activism:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Democracy
  • Environment
  • Freedom of expression
  • Human rights
  • Sovereignty

Known Afilliations:

  • Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam
  • Brotherhood for Democracy

May 2019:

Le Anh Hung was again sent to a mental health hospital, Central Mental Hospital No. 1 in Hanoi. In April, he was sent for evaluation but was later returned to prison. 

When he was on hunger strike recently, the authorities fed him via a naso-gastric tube and forced food into his mouth so violently that his nose and mouth bled. Besides intervening in his hunger strike, the authorities also forcibly injected him to “heal mental illness." 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.

Details - Background, History of Activism.

Profile photo source: Vietnam Right Now

Hung has written for several international media outlets, including Voice of America, and is a member of the Independent Journalists' Association. 

Hung was detained in a mental health facility in 2013 after police came and took him away from his workplace. He has long been a critic of the Vietnamese government and subject to various forms of harassment. 

Truong Van Dung and Le Anh Hung were called in for police questioning for their ties to the Brotherhood for Democracy (founded by dissident lawyer Nguyen Van Dai) just days before the APEC Summit began in Da Nang, Vietnam, in November 2017. They did not heed the summons, saying that they had not committed any crimes and should have the right to freedom of association to participate in the group. 

Arrested July 5, 2018. Charged under Art. 331 (2015 Code).

July 5, 2018
  • Art. 331 (2015 Code)
Hanoi city public security, Hanoi
Đại Kim, Hoàng Mai, Hà Nội, Vietnam (map)
Nguyen Van Mieng
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • freedom of peaceful assembly
  • freedom of association
  • political participation

Hung, a blogger and journalist, was arrested on July 5 in Hanoi and charged with “abusing democratic freedoms” under Article 331 of the 2015 Criminal Code for posting a letter critical of the government and its proposed law on special economic zones. He faces up to seven years in prison. 

October 2018:

On October 11, lawyer Nguyen Van Mieng was able to meet Le Anh Hung in prison. Lawyer Mieng said that Hung was in good health and spirit. On September 12, Hung’s mother, Mrs. Niem was also able to see him. She also said that he looked thinner but his spirit had remained strong. Hung said he had not cooperated or worked with security officials and gave thanks to those who were concerned about him and those who had helped him. His detention order was extended for two more months while police continued their investigation. 

December 2018:

On December 6, Mrs. Niem, Le Anh Hung’s mother, went to Detention Center No.2, Thuong Tin District, Ha Noi and reported that Hung's case was sent to the Procuracy. After only one meeting three months ago, she was not allowed to meet with Hung again, even after trying to meet the many requirements imposed by the detention center. The reason for this refusal was that Hung’s case was sent to the Procuracy and she allegedly needed to contact that agency in order to be able to meet with him. However, according to the law, which came into effect on January 1, 2018, Hung is legally allowed to meet with family once a month.

January 2019:

On the morning of January 29, Le Anh Hung’s mother and friend went to Detention Center No 2, Thuong Tin District, Ha Noi to visit him. However, for unknown reasons, the police forced Hung to wear a prisoner outfit and handcuffs for the visit. Hung protested this requirement. As a result, the prison authorities then banned him from meeting with his mom and friend. Hung was said to be in a good health, according to his lawyer, who had visited a few days prior. 

March 2019:

Mrs Niem, Le Anh Hung’s mother, revealed that Hung was not allowed to meet with his relatives in prison. Prison authorities imposed the punishment after Hung refused to wear a prisoner uniform and handcuffs. Le Anh Hung was arrested on July 5, 2018 for posting a letter critical of the government and its proposed law on Special Economic Zones. He faces up to seven years in prison. He is still under pre-trial investigation under Article 331 of the 2015 Criminal Code ("abusing democratic freedoms"). Due to this, Hung has refused to be treated as a prisoner without being sentenced.

April 2019:

Le Anh Hung’s mother, Tran Thi Niem revealed that the investigation agency suddenly transferred Hung to the Central Mental Hospital (the article in Vietnamese, here) in Thuong Tin District, Ha Noi, on April 1, 2019. On the morning of April 4, Niem, Hung's bother, and a friend of Hung went to visit him but were denied access. The investigation agency said that they were checking on Hung's health and waiting for the result. His mother was only able to send him some money. Hung had protested against wearing handcuffs and a prisoner uniform, as he has not yet been convicted of any crime. He is still under pre-trial investigation under Article 331 of the 2015 Criminal Code (“abusing democratic freedoms”). 

Update (4/29/19):

On April 24, prison authorities transferred Le Anh Hung back to prison after the evaluation at a mental health hospital. His lawyer requested a copy of the evaluation report. Hung's mother has not been able to meet with him since his transfer to the mental health facility.


July 2018:

Amnesty International condemned Hung's arrest, stating: "Viet Nam’s government cannot keep using baseless charges and the threat of prison as a means of gagging its critics." The Committee to Protect Journalists also called for Hung's release

Profile last updated: 2019-05-19 23:30:49

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