Le Thi Hong Hanh

Current Status: Likely released - at risk

Photo of Le Thi Hong Hanh

Other Names: Lê Thị Hồng Hạnh

Date of Birth: 1979

Gender: F

Religion: Buddhist (Hòa Hảo)

Ethnicity: Kinh

Last Known Prison: An Phu district detention center, An Giang province

Areas of Activism:

  • Religious freedom

May 2018:

On May 24, a Vietnamese Court in An Giang province denied Le Thi Hong Hanh's and five other Hoa Hao Buddhists' appeals of their February 2018 sentences. 

Details - Background.

For more background on the harassment of members of the Hoa Hao Buddhist sect, you can view this video (in Vietnamese, with English subtitles), which highlights the struggle of Hoa Hao Buddhist and former political prisoner Mai Thi Dung, who endured horrible treatment in prison.

Arrested November 13, 2017. Sentenced to 3 years in prison under Art. 245 (1999 Code). Expected Release is November 13, 2020.

November 13, 2017
  • Art. 245 (1999 Code)
An Phu district public security, An Giang province
February 9, 2018
The People's Court of An Phu district, An Giang province
3 years in prison
November 13, 2020
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • freedom of peaceful assembly
  • fair trial
  • freedom of belief and religion

February 2018:

Six Hoa Hao Buddhists: Bui Van Trung, Bui Van Tham, Nguyen Hoang Nam, Le Thi Hong Hanh, Le Thi Hen, and Bui Thi Bich Tuyen were tried on February 9 in An Giang province. Bui Van Tham was charged under Article 257 (“resisting persons in the performance of their official duties”) and Article 245 (“causing public disorder”), while the other five were charged under Article 245 of the 1999 Criminal Code. Trung and Tham were sentenced to six years in prison; Nam was sentenced to four; Hanh and Tuyen were sentenced to three; and Hen was given a two-year suspended sentence. According to the indictment by the People's Procuracy of An Phu district on November 30, 2017 (available in Vietnamese here), the defendants "disturbed the public order and impacted the safety and order of the traffic, causing a traffic jam on national route 91C by hindering, obstructing, pushing, and screaming to provoke and denounce transportation police." According to supporters, this is a case of repression against Hoa Hao Buddhist disciples who came for the commemoration of the death of Bui Van Trung's mother at Ut Trung sangha. The cermony was violently attacked by authorities. 

May 2018:

On May 24, a Vietnamese Court in An Giang province denied Le Thi Hong Hanh's and five other Hoa Hao Buddhists' appeals of their February 2018 sentences. Authorities tried to prohibit relatives and other Hoa Hao Buddhist followers from attending the appeal trial in support of the six.


February 2018:

Human Rights Watch called on the Vietnamese government to halt the trial and take time to evaluate whether this was a case of persecution and discrimination based on religious belief. “The government should stop harassing and arresting those who belong to unsanctioned religious groups and leave people to practice their faith as they see fit," said Brad Adams, Asia Director, in the appeal

The EU's External Action division also denounced the sentences, calling on Vietnam to release those jailed for their beliefs and peaceful practices and to uphold international human rights obligations to protect freedom of religion.

Profile last updated: 2020-12-15 02:22:49

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