Bach Hong Quyen
Current Status: At risk
Other Names: Bạch Hồng Quyền
Date of Birth:
Areas of Activism:
- Freedom of expression
Environmental activist Bach Hong Quyen — who fled Vietnam after the crackdown on environmental protests in the wake of the 2016 Formosa environmental disaster — is safe in Canada with his family.
Details - Background, History of Activism.
He was living in Ha Tinh province prior to fleeing to Thailand.
Profile photo source: Front Line Defenders
Bach Hong Quyen is a member of the Vietnam Path Movement, a blogger, and also organized protests after the Formosa environmental disaster in 2016. A “wanted” order was issued by authorities in Ha Tinh province for him in the spring of 2017 after he organized a protest commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Formosa disaster; he later fled to Thailand. He is wanted for “disturbing public order.”
He has also been active in other types of activism, including sovereignty issues between Vietnam and China.
May 12, 2017: wanted by authorities since 2017
- freedom of expression
- freedom of peaceful assembly
- freedom of movement
On May 12, 2017, authorities in Ha Tinh province issued a “wanted” warrant for Bach Hong Quyen for organizing an environmental protest on April 3, 2017, marking the one-year anniversary of the Formosa environmental disaster. Ha Tinh province was greatly affected by the toxic waste spill, and Quyen advocated for compensation for affected communities. Police went to his home to serve the warrant, but he was not there. They also attempted to serve the warrant at other locations, but to no avail.
Quyen has been on the run since then. In June 2017, Radio Free Asia published an exclusive interview from an unknown location with Bach Hong Quyen, who was then in hiding. In the interview, Quyen said he would consider receiving assistance from organizations or other countries in order to remain out of prison and continue his activism work. Watch the video interview (in Vietnamese) here. We now know that he applied for asylum in Thailand and is awaiting refugee placement in Canada.
Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action for Quyen after authorities released their “wanted” warrant in May 2017.
Vietnam Issues Warrant for Environmental Activist, Voice of America, May 12, 2017
March, 2019: persecuted while seeking asylum status in Thailand
- Reporters Without Borders
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
In March 2019, Bach Hong Quyen put out a call for help from Thailand. He was the only witness that confirmed the presence of Truong Duy Nhat, a blogger kidnapped while seeking asylum in Thailand on January 26, 2019, in the country. In a letter, Quyen asserted that Thailand’s police, in cooperation with Vietnam’s embassy in Thailand, was looking for him to deport him back to Vietnam. The alleged goal of this is to destroy the evidence of Nhat’s presence in Thailand. He is facing an unknown future. Due to the risk of police surveillance, at the time of writing, he was not living with his family.
Updated December 2019: Bach Hong Quyen — who fled Vietnam after the crackdown on environmental protests in the wake of the 2016 Formosa environmental disaster — is safe in Canada with his family.
Reporters Without Borders called on Thailand to protect Bach Hong Quyen in light of his colleague Truong Duy Nhat’s kidnapping from the country in January 2019.
On June 25, 2019, the OHCHR Asia made public a joint communication to the Thai and Vietnamese governments on Truong Duy Nhat and Bach Hong Quyen, in which UN human rights experts expressed concerns about the two activists’ arbitrary arrest, in particular, the arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance, and subsequent forced repatriation of Truong Duy Nhat, and the surveillance and intimidation of Bach Hong Quyen. The communication can be read here.
Vietnamese Human Rights Campaigner Stuck in Scary Limbo in Thailand, Radio Free Asia, March 21, 2019
‘I feel grateful’: Vietnamese human rights advocate and his family set to enjoy first Christmas in Canada, The Toronto Star, December 4, 2019
Profile last updated: 2019-12-10 01:28:51