Profile

Ho Dinh Cuong

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Ho Dinh Cuong

Other Names: Hồ Văn Cương, Hồ Đình Cương, Văn Cương

Date of Birth: December 13, 1979

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Craft trades

Last Known Prison: HCM city Police detention center, No. 4 Phan Dang Luu, Ho Chi Minh city

Areas of Activism:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Environment
  • Human rights
  • Sovereignty

Known Affiliations:

  • Hiến Pháp

July 2020:

On July 31, the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City sentenced eight defendants, some of whom are members of the Hien Phap constitutional rights group, to prison sentences ranging from two and a half years to-eight years on charges of “disrupting security.” The sentences were as follows:

  • Ngo Van Dung: five years in prison and two years of probation
  • Hoang Thi Thu Vang: seven years in prison and three years of probation
  • Do The Hoa: five years in prison and two years of probation
  • Ho Dinh Cuong: four and a half  years in prison and two years of probation
  • Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hanh: eight years in prison and three years of probation
  • Tran Thanh Phuong: three and a half years in prison and two years of probation
  • Le Quy Loc: five years in prison and three years of probation
  • Doan Thi Hong: two and a half years in prison and two years of probation

Family members and supporters were not allowed to attend the trial, and neither were US government representatives. One representative of the German Embassy was allowed to attend.

Details - Background, History of Activism, Contact Information.

Ho Dinh Cuong, born in Thua Thien Hue province, lived in Ho Chi Minh city prior to the arrest.

Profile photo source: Facebook Van Cương Ho

Cuong was said to participate in the national demonstrations against the bills on Special Economic Zones and Cybersecurity on June 10, 2018.

He is also a member of Hien Phap (Constitution) group, established on June 16, 2017, with aims to  promote peoples’ understanding of their human rights in the Constitution. 

Cuong and other members planned to call for a peaceful demonstration on September 4, 2018 to raise their voices on social issues, including human rights violations, corruption, territorial disputes, and environmental pollution. However, many Hien Phap members were arrested prior to the scheduled demonstration. 

Arrested September 8, 2018. Sentenced to 4 years 6 months in prison and 2 years probation under Art. 118 (2015 Code). Expected Release is March 8, 2023.

September 8, 2018
  • Art. 118 (2015 Code)
Ho Chi Minh city public security, Ho Chi Minh city
Investigation Agency of Ho Chi Minh City Public Security, No.4, Phan Dang Luu Street, Binh Thanh Ward, Ho Chi Minh City (map)
July 31, 2020
The People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City
4 years 6 months in prison and 2 years probation
March 8, 2023
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • freedom of peaceful assembly
  • freedom of association
  • fair trial
  • political participation
US government

On September 8, 2018, Cuong was arrested while complying with the Security Investigation Agency’s invitation to answer questions about his relationship with five other activists who had just been arrested. He was charged under Article 118 of the 2015 Penal Code for “disruption of security” and was detained at police station No.4, Phan Dang Luu Street, Ho Chi Minh City.

Cuong was not allowed to meet with his family until August 2, 2019, almost one year after his arrest. His wife said that Cuong’s health was not good because of alleged psychological torture.

October 2019:

Relatives of five detained members of the Hien Phap group were planning to sue the Ho Chi Minh City Police Department, alleging that their loved ones were arrested without warrants and held for many weeks in unknown locations before the families were notified. The five cases represented were those of Ngo Van Dung, Doan Thi HongHoang Thi Thu Vang, Ho Dinh Cuong, and Tran Thanh Phuong. The families also said that they had not received notice on the various extensions of the fives' investigation periods. They had also not been permitted to meet with their lawyers and were only allowed to meet with their families for the first time in August 2019.

February 2020:

Eight activists were scheduled face trial by the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City on March 10 on charges of "disrupting security" under Article 118 of the 2015 Criminal Code. The eight had been detained without trial for almost a year and a half. Authorities had already previously postponed the trial twice. The group of eight defendants included Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hanh, Hoang Thi Thu VangDo The HoaHo Dinh CuongTran Thanh PhuongNgo Van DungDoan Thi Hong and Le Quy Loc

July 2020:

After several postponements, on July 31, the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City sentenced eight defendants, some of whom are members of the Hien Phap constitutional rights group, to prison sentences ranging from two and a half years to-eight years on charges of “disrupting security.” The sentences were as follows:

  • Ngo Van Dung: five years in prison and two years of probation
  • Hoang Thi Thu Vang: seven years in prison and three years of probation
  • Do The Hoa: five years in prison and two years of probation
  • Ho Dinh Cuong: four and a half  years in prison and two years of probation
  • Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hanh: eight years in prison and three years of probation
  • Tran Thanh Phuong: three and a half years in prison and two years of probation
  • Le Quy Loc: five years in prison and three years of probation
  • Doan Thi Hong: two and a half years in prison and two years of probation

Family members and supporters were not allowed to attend the trial, and neither were US government representatives. One representative of the German Embassy was allowed to attend.

August 2020:

The US State Department released a statement condemning the imprisonment of Hien Phap group members, saying: “Although we have seen the Government of Vietnam take some positive steps on human rights in certain areas in Vietnam over the past few years, we are troubled about the growing trend of arrests of and harsh sentences for peaceful activists since early 2016.”

Profile last updated: 2020-08-16 21:13:06

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