Profile

Truong Van Dung

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Truong Van Dung

Other Names: Trương Văn Dũng, Dung Truong

Date of Birth: 1958

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Driver

Last Known Prison: Gia Trung prison, Gia Lai province

Areas of Activism:

  • Democracy
  • Human rights
  • Sovereignty

Known Affiliations:

Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:

  • Solitary Confinement
  • Prolonged Incommunicado Detention
  • Harsh Physical and Administrative Conditions
  • Denial of Family Visit/Punitive Prison Transfer
  • Infliction of Physical and Psychological Pain

January 2024:

Truong Van Dung is allegedly under a one-month disciplinary solitary confinement for arguing with prison officials. Luu Van Vinh, a fellow prisoner, told his wife Nguyen Thi Thap over the phone on Jan. 22 that Dung asked him to tell his family the news. During this time in disciplinary confinement, Dung will not be allowed to buy food from the canteen, receive mail or supplies, nor have visits from the family until Feb. 16. Vinh said Dung and officials got into an argument when the package sent by his family was carelessly torn open by guards not wearing gloves and the contents spilled all over the floor. He also loudly protested when they did not let him keep a photo because it had the “Viet Tan” logo in it.

November 2023:

On Nov. 9, Truong Van Dung was transferred from An Diem Prison in Nghe An Province (northern Vietnam) to Gia Trung Prison in Gia Lai Province (the Central Highlands) hundreds of miles away. It is not clear why he was moved and whether his family had been notified ahead of time. Punitive prison transfers are often used as a means to further isolate prisoners from their support networks or to punish them for speaking up for their rights or the rights of other prisoners.

October 2023:

Trinh Ba Phuong and two other political prisoners–Phan Cong Hai and Truong Van Dung–had their legs shackled for 10 days, from Sept. 9 to Sept. 19, at An Diem Prison for writing anti-China messages on A24 pieces of paper to protest, according to Phuong’s wife, Thu Do, who visited him on Oct 12. 

Details - Background, History of Activism, Contact Information.

Living in Hanoi at the time of this writing, Truong Van Dung works as a motorbike driver, while his wife is a hairdresser working from home.  

Profile photo source: Facebook Dũng Trương

Truong Van Dung is a democratic activist and co-founder of Hoi Bau Bi Tuong Than (“Mutual support among countrymen”). This association was established by Dung and nine others in 2013 to financially and spiritually support political prisoners, victims of state-sanctioned injustice (Vietnamese Dan Oan), and their families.

Dung has advocated against forced evictions, even having his own home confiscated in the early 2000s.

In addition, he also is involved in human rights issues and Chinese maritime sovereignty issues, participating in anti-China demonstrations, memorials regarding the border war between Vietnam and China; and also a ceremony honoring the lives lost in a Chinese-Vietnamese naval conflict in 1988. He has been repeatedly harassed by police, such as:

8/11/2013: he was assaulted to the point where Hanoi police broke his ribs..

22/03/2014: being beaten in the face by four people

09/04/2015: being detained for nine hours in Dong Da police station, Hanoi

21/12/2015: being attacked by a man with acid

17/07/2016: being beaten by a plainclothes police after participating in an anti-Chinese demonstration.

According to Facebooker Nguyễn Tường Thụy, it was the sixth time on March 14, 2018 that Dung Truong was beaten right in the police station, in addition to countless times being attacked on the street.

October 2019:

An Ninh ("Security") TV (antv.gov.vn), a state-owned channel dedicated to security-related news, was airing a series of programs to defame well-known political activists. On October 27, 2019, An Ninh TV aired a program in which it identified several activists as “subversives,” among them: Le Trung Khoa, Le Dung Vova, Nguyen Thuy Hanh, Pham Doan Trang, and Dung Truong. The program also provided ways to recognize those activists on social media. On October 31, 2019, Le Dung Vova and his CHTV channel were publicly-accused of igniting some people to question the government.

March 14, 2018: beaten and detained twice by Hanoi police

  • Detention
  • Property confiscation
  • Physical assault in a public space
March 14, 2018
Public security
Le Thai To King Monument, No. 16, Le Thai To Street, Hoan Kiem district, Ha Noi (map)

  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of peaceful assembly

On March 14, 2018, Truong Van Dung, Nguyen Thuy Hanh, and some other activists went to Ly Thai To King monument to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the loss of Gac Ma (South Johnson Reef), which caused 64 deaths of Vietnamese naval soldiers by the People’s Liberation Army of China.

Around 9 am, security forces in Hanoi suddenly detained Nguyen Thuy Hanh and Truong Van Dung at the police station, located at no. 3 Nguyen Gia Thieu. Dung was released at 3 pm ,while Hanh was not.

At 6 pm, police had still kept Hanh to question her activities. Huynh Ngoc Chenh, Hanh’s husband, and Dung Truong, decided to go to police station where Hanh was held. After a 10-hour detention, Hanh was taken to the hospital for urgent medical treatment by her husband because of her low blood pressure.

Meanwhile, Dung Truong was detained for a second time on the same day. Police confiscated all his money and tried to grab his phone, but Dung broke it.

At least three police in plainclothes beat him so brutally that Dung lost two teeth and fainted. They called a taxi to take him home but left him on the pavement near his house.  

Dung’s relatives brought him to the hospital for a checkup right after his neighbors recognized him at 10 pm.

On March 15, Mrs. Hop, Dung’s wife, went to the police station to ask for a bicycle and 4 million VND (approximately 170 USD), which were confiscated by police. However, an officer the station denied the beating and seizing Dung’s property.

January 19, 2019: beaten after honoring soldiers who died in Hoang Sa battle in 1974

Physical assault in a public space
January 19, 2019
Public security
Le Thai To King Monument, No. 16, Le Thai To Street, Hoan Kiem district, Ha Noi (map)

  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of peaceful assembly

On January 19, Nguyen Thuy Hanh, Huynh Ngoc Chenh, Truong Van Dung, and Trinh Ba Phuong went to Ly Thai To Monument to honor soldiers who died in Hoang Sa battle on January 19, 1974. When they were on the way back, the police of Hoan Kiem District blocked them and suddenly beat Truong Dung arbitrarily.

A source of state media, namely Viet vision, released a video on this attack on the same day. Dung was accused of disturbing the public order and beaten by civilians. However, they did not show the attackers’ faces, but covered them in the video.

Arrested May 21, 2022. Sentenced to 6 years in prison under Art. 88 (1999 Code).

May 21, 2022
  • Art. 88 (1999 Code)
Hanoi (map)
March 28, 2023
  • Le Dinh Viet
  • Ngo Anh Tuan
6 years in prison
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
Human Rights Watch

Truong Van Dung, 64, was arrested while doing his morning exercise in Hanoi on May 21. His wife Nguyen Thi Hop said police later came to their house to do a search and took away some books and his laptop. An activist since 2011 who participated in many protests over the years, Dung was reportedly detained and beaten several times before by security police. Dung is accused of spreading “anti-state propaganda.”

January 2023:

Hanoi Public Security said they completed their investigation of 64-year-old blogger Truong Van Dung who was arrested seven months ago and charged with carrying out “anti-state propaganda” under Article 88 of the 1999 Criminal Code. Dung’s family reported that Dung is having many health issues, but they have not yet been allowed to visit him, even though the investigation phase is over. However, Dung’s lawyer Dang Dinh Manh has been able to see him and said his trial would probably take place after the Lunar New Year.

March 2023:

Veteran activist Truong Van Dung was sentenced to six years in prison on March 28 for conducting “anti-state propaganda.”

Dung told the court in his closing statement that he was beaten during detention. Dung said that on September 15 last year, two interrogators at Hoa Lo Prison hit him hard on the sides with their elbows. That night, he began feeling acute pains and asked to be taken to the hospital but was refused. He said he felt severely ill for the next two weeks but was not examined by a doctor to see if it was because of internal injuries sustained during the beating. One of Dung’s initial lawyers, Dang Dinh Manh, was not allowed to represent him since Manh himself has been a target of an investigation related to the Bong Lai Temple case. Dung’s story was posted on Facebook by his current lawyer Le Dinh Viet.

April 2023:

Truong Van Dung’s wife reported to Project88 that he would appeal his verdict. 

July 2023:

Truong Van Dung’s six-year sentence was upheld by an appeals court in Hanoi on July 13. Dung was convicted in March 2023 of “anti-state propaganda.” His lawyer Le Dinh Viet, who met with Dung for the first time on July 12, said Dung told him he believes human rights are universal and that he had not done anything illegal or wrong.

March 2023:

Human Rights Watch called for the immediate release of Dung ahead of his trial.

Profile last updated: 2024-01-27 22:26:46

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