Profile

Dinh Van Hai

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Dinh Van Hai

Other Names: Đinh Văn Hải, Tiếng Vọng Hành Tinh

Date of Birth: August 16, 1974

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Areas of Activism:

  • Democracy
  • Freedom of expression
  • Human rights
  • Land rights
  • Sovereignty
  • Press

April 2022:

Dinh Van Hai, 48, was sentenced by a court in Lam Dong Province to five years in prison for spreading “anti-state propaganda.” Hai posted 13 video clips and 79 posts that allegedly “defamed the regime and [deceased] leader Ho Chi Minh.” A handicapped person and an activist since at least 2018, Hai was apprehended in October 2021 while he was taking refuge inside a Buddhist temple. He had no lawyer at trial but defended himself by saying that his postings did not aim to defame the state but only to help make society better. It is not known if Dinh Van Hai will appeal.

Details

Immediate Concerns

April 2022:

Dinh Van Hai, 48, was sentenced by a court in Lam Dong Province to five years in prison for spreading “anti-state propaganda.” Hai posted 13 video clips and 79 posts that allegedly “defamed the regime and [deceased] leader Ho Chi Minh.” A handicapped person and an activist since at least 2018, Hai was apprehended in October 2021 while he was taking refuge inside a Buddhist temple. He had no lawyer at trial but defended himself by saying that his postings did not aim to defame the state but only to help make society better. It is not known if Dinh Van Hai will appeal.

Background

Dinh Van Hai, a disabled person, is living in Duc Trong district, Lam Dong province.

History of Activism

Dinh Van Hai, with his deep knowledge on international, criminal, civil and land rights, often shares his views on national and international issues. He participated in many demonstrations on national sovereignty and the environment and also protests against human rights violations by the authorities, especially violent attacks against activists.

On July 15, 2017, he was forcefully arrested and detained at police station of Tan Phu District, Ward 9, Ho Chi Minh City when marching peacefully to protest against an environmental project. Before releasing him, security forces confiscated his phone and documents.

June 27, 2018: beaten harshly after visiting activist Do Thi Minh Hanh

Physical assault in a public space
June 27, 2018
Individuals
Lien Dam commune, Di Linh district, Lam Dong province (map)

  • liberty and security of the person
  • equal protection of the law
  • freedom from discrimination

On June 27, 2018, Dinh Van Hai, with Vu Tien Chi, went to visit Minh Hanh because she was being attacked harshly at that time. After live-streaming at Minh Hanh’s house, showing her dangerous situation in her home, Dinh Van Hai and Vu Tien Chi went back home.

At around 12:00 pm, two thugs followed and attacked them (but mainly Hai) with wooden and iron sticks when they were at National Way 20, Lien Dam Commune, Di Linh District, Lam Dong Province. After Hai and Chi fell off their motorbike, they continued beating them harshly, causing Hai’s broken right hand and left clavicle shoulder.

August 22, 2019: summoned to work on his Facebook activities

Police invitation
August 22, 2019
Public security
Duc Trong District, Lam Dong Province (map)

freedom of expression

The public security of Lam Dong Province sent the first summons order to Hai, asking him to go to police station of Ninh Gia commune, Duc Trong District on August 23, 2019. The reason for the summons was to question him about the usage of his Facebook account. It is likely that Hai refused to comply with this arbitrary order.

Sentenced to 5 years in prison under Art. 117 (2015 Code). Expected Release is October 7, 2026.

  • Art. 117 (2015 Code)
Phuoc Buu Pagoda (map)
April 28, 2022
The People's Court of Lam Dong Province
None
5 years in prison
October 7, 2026
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • fair trial
UN Special Rapporteurs
Details of Imprisonment

For the past several months, Hai has been taking refuge inside the pagoda Phuoc Buu. On October 7, 2021, two men pretended to donate rice and gained entrance to the pagoda. They did not present any warrants but demanded that Phuoc surrender. Several people who tried to record the arrest were threatened that they, too, would be arrested. Hai refused to sign any papers.

Physical Health History

Hai has a physical handicap; he walks with a limp.

Actions Taken

November 2021:

On November 1, 2021, the UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention sent the government of Vietnam its report on human rights defenders Chung Hoang ChuongNguyen Van NghiemLe Van DungDinh Thi Thu ThuyDo Nam Trung and Dinh Van Hai, requesting a response. On November 21, the government requested a two-month extension to February, 2022, to reply.

Resources

Thêm người bị bắt theo Điều 117 vì viết bài trên Facebook, Radio Free Asia Vietnamese, October 7, 2021

Report from the UN Special Rapporteur, November 2021

Ông Đinh Văn Hải bị lãnh án 5 năm tù vì ‘nói xấu chế độ’, VOA Vietnamese, April 28, 2022

April 28, 2022: trial

April 28, 2022
Phuoc Buu Pagoda (map)

  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • fair trial
UN Special Rapporteurs
Details of Imprisonment

For the past several months, Hai has been taking refuge inside the pagoda Phuoc Buu. On October 7, 2021, two men pretended to donate rice and gained entrance to the pagoda. They did not present any warrants but demanded that Phuoc surrender. Several people who tried to record the arrest were threatened that they, too, would be arrested. Hai refused to sign any papers.

Physical Health History

Hai has a physical handicap; he walks with a limp.

Actions Taken

November 2021:

On November 1, 2021, the UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention sent the government of Vietnam its report on human rights defenders Chung Hoang ChuongNguyen Van NghiemLe Van DungDinh Thi Thu ThuyDo Nam Trung and Dinh Van Hai, requesting a response. On November 21, the government requested a two-month extension to February, 2022, to reply.

Resources

Thêm người bị bắt theo Điều 117 vì viết bài trên Facebook, Radio Free Asia Vietnamese, October 7, 2021

Report from the UN Special Rapporteur, November 2021

Ông Đinh Văn Hải bị lãnh án 5 năm tù vì ‘nói xấu chế độ’, VOA Vietnamese, April 28, 2022

Profile last updated: 2024-06-13 20:34:05

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