Nguyen Van Meo
Current Status: Likely released - at risk
Other Names: Nguyễn Văn Mẹo
Date of Birth: 1975
Areas of Activism:
- Freedom of expression
Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:
- Former Political Prisoner
- Violence concern
Details - Background, History of Activism.
Nguyen Van Meo lived in Binh Thuan Province prior to arrest.
On June 10, 2018, Meo participated in the demonstrations against two bills on Special Economic Zones and Cybersecurity.
Arrested June 10, 2018. Sentenced to 2 years in prison under Art. 318 (2015 Code). Released June 10, 2020.
- 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 July 23, 2018, The People’s Court of Tuy Phong District, Binh Thuan Province held the first instance court hearing against Nguyen Van Meo).
According to the indictment, from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm, Meo and others gathered at National Highway 1A, Cau Nam Area, Lam Loc Hamlet, Hoa Minh Commune, Tuy Phong District. Meo and others allegedly incited the crowd, prevented vehicles from moving, and caused a traffic jam for 15 hours. The Procuracy also accused him of attacking police with bricks and stones, as well as damaging the property.
Nguyen Van Meo was sentenced to two years for “disturbing the public order” under Article 318 of the 2015 Penal Code.
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.
Xét xử 10 bị cáo gây rối tại huyện Tuy Phong, Bình Thuận, Cong An Newspaper, July 23, 2018
Vietnam jails 10 more for protests over economic zones, Channel News Asia, July 23, 2018
10 bị cáo gây rối tại Phan Rí Cửa lĩnh án, Zing.vn, July 23, 2018
Profile last updated: 2020-08-23 20:11:59