Le Cong Dinh
Current Status: At risk
Other Names: Lê Công Định
Date of Birth: October 1, 1968
Religion: Christian (Catholic)
Areas of Activism:
- Rule of law
- Human rights
Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:
- Former Political Prisoner
Lawyer Le Cong Dinh and religious leader Hua Phi were both barred from attending meetings related to the US-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue. On May 12, 2019, Dinh was blocked into his house by a larger number of security officers. They also threatened him not to leave that day nor the following day. The delegation from the US Department of State had invited him to speak at the Dialogue.
Details - Background, History of Activism.
After studying in Vietnam, Le Cong Dinh won a Fulbright fellowship and studied in the US at Tulane University. He formerly served as the Vice President of the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association and also has worked at a private law firm in Vietnam. He is currently a partner at EZ Law firm in Ho Chi Minh City.
Profile photo source: Front Line Defenders
He has represented political dissidents and activists at trial. He has long been an advocate for multi-party democracy and had also spoken out against bauxite mining in Central Vietnam and Vietnam-China maritime sovereignty disputes.
In June 2009, Le Cong Dinh was arrested and was later tried in January 2010 alongside democracy activists Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, Nguyen Tien Trung, and Le Thang Long. He was sentenced to five years in prison under Article 79 of the 1999 Criminal Code, for subversion. He admitted to attending civil society development trainings and advocating for human rights and democracy, but he denied allegations of trying to overthrow the government. In February 2013, he was released early from prison, after serving three of the five years.
Le Cong Dinh continues to provide commentary on the crackdown on dissent in Vietnam and relay information to media regarding the status of activists and prisoners on-the-ground.
Vietnam, Quelling Dissent, Gives 4 Democracy Advocates Jail Terms, The New York Times, January 20, 2010
Front Line Defenders archive
June 26, 2018: blocked from attending meeting commemorating victims of torture
June 26 was the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Two former political prisoners were blocked from meeting with activists in Ho Chi Minh City to commemorate the day. Plainclothes police outside the homes of Le Cong Dinh and Pham Ba Hai prevented them from attending an event organized by the Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience.
Former Prisoners of Conscience Barred from Meeting to Mark UN Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Defend the Defenders, June 26, 2018
August 23, 2018: denied a passport without legal basis
- Travel restriction
- Passport denial
On August 23, 2018, the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Public Security in Ho Chi Minh city refused to reissue Le Cong Dinh’s passport after Dinh spent more than one hour completing an application and waited for his turn. The reason of the refusal was orally given that Dinh was still in the list of travel ban. Dinh did not receive any written document on this refusal.
Vietnam, Events of 2018, Human Rights Watch
May 12, 2019: blocked from meeting with foreign officials
- Travel restriction
- Harassment at private residence
- freedom of expression
- freedom of peaceful assembly
- freedom of movement
- respect of privacy, family, home, and correspondence
Lawyer Le Cong Dinh and religious leader Hua Phi were both barred from attending meetings related to the US-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue. On May 12, 2019, Dinh was blocked in his house by a large number of security officers. They also threatened him not to leave that day nor the following day. The delegation from the US Department of State had invited him to speak at the Dialogue. Hua Phi was blocked into his home with large furniture, which prevented him from leaving.
The US spoke out against the Vietnamese government’s harassment and surveillance of activists ahead of the event, which prevented some activists from attending.
US Says Vietnam Blocks Dissidents From Contact With Rights Delegation, Radio Free Asia, May 15, 2019
Profile last updated: 2020-02-20 14:21:12