Nguyen Tan Thong
Current Status: Likely released - at risk
Other Names: Nguyễn Tấn Thông
Date of Birth: 1980
Areas of Activism:
- Freedom of expression
Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:
- Former Political Prisoner
- Violence concern
Details - Background, History of Activism.
Nguyen Tan Thong lived in Binh Thuan Province prior to arrest.
On June 10, 2018, Thong participated in the demonstrations against two bills on Special Economic Zones and Cybersecurity.
Arrested June 11, 2018. Sentenced to 2 years 6 months in prison under Art. 318 (2015 Code). Expected Release is January 11, 2021.
- Art. 318 (2015 Code)
- freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
- liberty and security of the person
- freedom of expression
- freedom of peaceful assembly
- fair trial
- political participation
On October 31, 2018, The People’s Court of Phan Thiet City held the first instance court hearing against Nguyen Tan Thong in Binh Thuan Province.
According to the indictment of The People’s Procuracy in Binh Thuan Province, at around 16:30 on June 10, Thong gathered and shouted at the area in front of Phan Thiet Market, then moved to the headquarters of The People’s Committee of Binh Thuan Province. At 18:40, Thong and others allegedly attacked police forces with bricks and stones, as well as a handmade petroleum bomb, to get inside the headquarters. He was also accused of damaging and burning the property of the nearby headquarters of the Departments of Planning and Investment, as well as the Department of Home Affairs.
Thong was sentenced to two years and six months for “disturbing the public order” under Article 318 of the 2015 Penal Code.
While the authorities accused some of these protesters involved in the June 2018 protests of using violence, Vietnamese activists themselves claim that the violence was actually started by the authorities, who sent their own people to mingle with the protesters to start or incite violent scenes, which would justify the use of harsher means to disperse the crowd, such as tear gas, water cannons, physical assaults, and arrests.
This method, the activists said, would be part of what the Public Security calls Project A2 – Disperse protests and Repress riots. While this claim from the activists remains to be verified, it is true that the police have used brutal violence towards protesters and activists. This has been well documented in the “Black Sundays” report, which details the detentions of unarmed protesters and the physical assault that amounts to torture against them, and calls for accountability from the Vietnamese government in line with international human rights obligations.
The 88 Project is investigating the known arrests and the allegations of the crimes committed by protesters. In the absence of a free press environment, the protesters should be given the benefit of the doubt, and any accusation by the authorities against them should not be taken for granted.
Thêm 30 người bị tù do biểu tình ở Bình Thuận, Radio Free Asia, October 31, 2018
30 người quá khích tấn công trụ sở công quyền ở Bình Thuận lĩnh án, Zing.vn, October 31, 2018
Binh Thuan Province Jails 30 More Mid-June Protesters, Defend the Defenders, October 31, 2018
30 sentenced to jail for rioting during SEZ law protest, VnExpress, November 1, 2018
Profile last updated: 2021-02-27 18:58:27