Profile

Pham Thanh

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

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Other Names: Phạm Thanh

Date of Birth: 1987

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Areas of Activism:

  • Freedom of expression
  • Sovereignty

Details - Background, History of Activism.

Pham Thanh lived in Tuy Phong District, Binh Thuan Province prior to arrest.

On June 10, 2018, Thanh participated in the demonstrations against two bills on Special Economic Zones and Cybersecurity.

Thêm 15 người bị phạt tù vì ‘tham gia bạo động’ tại Bình Thuận, Voice of America Vietnamese Newspaper, September 27, 2018

Arrested June 11, 2018. Sentenced to 4 years 6 months in prison under Art. 318 (2015 Code).

June 11, 2018
  • Art. 318 (2015 Code)
Bac Binh district public security, Binh Thuan province
Phan Ri Thanh Commune, Bac Binh District, Binh Thuan Province (map)
September 26, 2018
The People’s Court of Bac Binh District, Binh Thuan Province
None
4 years 6 months in prison
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • freedom of peaceful assembly
  • fair trial
  • political participation

On September 26, The People’s Court of Bac Binh District held the first instance court hearing against Pham Thanh at Cho Lau Town, Bac Binh District, Binh Thuan Province.

According to the indictment, at 9:00 am on June 11, Thanh  and others gathered at National Highway 1A, Binh Long hamlet, Phan Ri Thanh commune, Bac Binh District. At 1:30 pm, Thanh and others allegedly attacked riot police with bricks, sticks, stones and handmade petroleum bombs. He was also accused of damaging and burning the property of the headquarters of the Fire Department and Police Department of Binh Thuan.

He did not have a defense counsel because police came to one of the defendants’ house and told the family “not to hire a lawyer because it would be a waste.” None of the defendants had a defense lawyer.

Pham Thanh was sentenced to four years and six months for “disturbing the public order” under Article 318 of the 2015 Penal Code.

Note:

While the authorities accused some of the 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.

Arrested June 11, 2018. Sentenced to 11 years in prison under Art. 178 (2015 Code). Expected Release is December 11, 2033.

June 11, 2018
  • Art. 178 (2015 Code)
Bac Binh district public security, Binh Thuan province
Phan Ri Thanh Commune, Bac Binh District, Binh Thuan Province (map)
May 21, 2019
The People’s Court of Bac Binh District, Binh Thuan Province
11 years in prison
December 11, 2033
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • freedom of peaceful assembly
  • fair trial
  • political participation

On May 21, 2019, the People’s Court of Binh Thuan Province held a trial against Dang Ngoc Tan and Pham Thanh, two protesters who had participated in mass demonstrations against the bills on Special Economic Zones and Cybersecurity on June 10 and 11, 2018 in Binh Thuan province. They were sentenced to 17 years and 11 years in prison, respectively, for “deliberate destruction of public property,” under Article 178, Clause 4 of the 2015 Criminal Code. The two had already been tried before under a different charge, and Dang Ngoc Tan tried two times previously, all for their involvement in the protest. In total, Dang Ngoc Tan and Pham Thanh have been sentenced to 24 and 15.5 years in prison, respectively. Dang Ngoc Tan is only 19 years-old. Read more, here

Tan and Thanh also had to pay a compensation of 3.6 billion VND ( 154,210 USD) and more than 1 billion VND (42,836 USD), respectively, for burning four fire trucks and 12 police cars at the headquarters of the Binh Thuan Police’s Fire Fighting and Prevention Office during the protest on June 11, 2018, according to the indictment.

Note:

Violence has been one of the reasons the authorities have deployed to justify the harsh punishment against those protesters. Yet, 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, in order to 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 the claim from the activists remains to be verified, it is true that the police themselves 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. 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.

 

Profile last updated: 2019-05-27 04:53:49

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