Le Quy Loc
Current Status: Released - at risk
Other Names: Lê Quý Lộc
Date of Birth: December 2, 1976
Last Known Prison: An Phuoc detention center, Binh Duong province
Areas of Activism:
- Human rights
Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:
- Solitary Confinement
- Former Political Prisoner
- Denial of Legal Representation
- Denial of Adequate Medical Treatment or Supplies
- Prolonged Incommunicado Detention
- Harsh Physical and Administrative Conditions
- Denial of Family Visit/Punitive Prison Transfer
- Infliction of Physical and Psychological Pain
Le Quy Loc finished his prison sentence and was released on Sept. 9. A taxi driver, Loc was a member of the now-defunct Constitution Group (Hien Phap), which advocated for democratic changes. Arrested in September 2018, Loc was not allowed to see a lawyer until November 2019. He was eventually convicted of creating a “public disturbance” (Article 118) and sentenced to five years in prison plus three years of probation; however, Loc’s wife told Project 88 that his probation period is now only two years.
Update: interview with Le Quy Loc
Ngo Van Dung told Project 88 that in early 2020, he and his co-defendant Le Quy Loc went on a hunger strike to demand better treatment at their pre-trial detention center. After seven days, Dung said Loc was taken outside and beaten. After Dung protested that abuse, about 20 men took him outside and beat him unconscious. Dung says he woke up bleeding with several head wounds. He and Loc were also shackled for seven days. Dung filed a complaint to the Procuracy on April 12, 2020, but no representative checked on him until 40 days later, after his wounds had healed. After the visit, the prison authorities issued a note stating that his health was “perfectly fine!” When Dung was released, prison officials refused to let him take with the 451 poems and songs he had written while behind bars.
Speaking separately to Project 88 and corroborating Dung’s account of the events in early 2020, Le Quy Loc also told Project 88 that in April 2020 he was severely beaten at the Phan Dang Luu Detention Center by an officer named Le Van Nguon, who set a book on his back and used a hammer to pound on the book until he spit out blood. Loc said that Nguon also used a flashlight with a pointed tip to hit him on the head and pierce his body until it bled. When Loc yelled out to the other prisoners that he was being assaulted, Nguon and several others started to punch and kick him, sending him flying against an iron door, which knocked him unconscious. In April 2021, Loc was sent to Chi Hoa Hospital for two weeks. After he came back, he was shackled for seven days straight, and was not allowed to go out to go to the toilet. Loc remained on a hunger strike on and off to protest the mistreatment, and continued to receive abusive treatment throughout his time in prison. Loc was released on Sept.14; he has not had a chance to have a health checkup.
Le Quy Loc was beaten by prison guards at the An Phuoc Detention Center last May for asking to be allowed to play sports, as guaranteed by law. Loc was said to have gone on an eight-day hunger strike to protest the beating that left his face badly bruised. The news of his alleged torture was only later revealed.
Details - Background, History of Activism.
Le Quy Loc is a taxi driver.
Profile photo source: LamDong Vu
According to Facebooker LamDong Vu, Loc is a member of Hien Phap (Constitution) group, established on June 16, 2017, with the aim to promote peoples’ understanding of their human rights in the Constitution.
Hien Phap 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, including Loc, were arrested prior to the scheduled demonstration.
CSVN giam giữ 8 thành viên nhóm ‘Hiến Pháp’ vận động đợt biểu tình tháng 6, Saigon Broadcasting Television Network, September 27, 2018
9 người thuộc nhóm Hiến Pháp bị an ninh bắt vào đầu tháng 9, Radio Free Asia, September 28, 2018
Arrested September 3, 2018. Sentenced to 5 years in prison and 2 years probation under Art. 118 (2015 Code). Released September 14, 2023.
- Art. 118 (2015 Code)
- 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
On September 3, 2018, Loc was arrested along with other seven members of the Hien Phap (Constitution) group during the crackdown on a potential protest in Ho Chi Minh City in September 2018.
The Investigation Agency of Ho Chi Minh City then released an announcement on his contemporary detention on September 4, 2019. Loc was prosecuted for “disturbing public order” under the charge of Article 118 of the 2015 Penal Code. More than one year after his arrest, Loc still defended against the accusation, without being permitted to meet any relatives until August 4, 2019, in which he asked for his family’s support to secure him a lawyer. According to the latest information in August 2019, he obtained lawyer Nguyen Van Mieng as a defense counsel.
On November 29, 2019, Le Quy Loc was finally able to consult an attorney for his case. The People’s Procuracy of Ho Chi Minh City issued the Notification of Defense Attorney Approval, which recognized Attorney Nguyen Van Mieng as Loc’s lawyer.
Eight activists were supposed face trial by the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City on March 10, 2020 on charges of "disrupting security" under Article 118 of the 2015 Criminal Code. Authorities had previously postponed the trial twice. The group of eight defendants included Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hanh, Hoang Thi Thu Vang, Do The Hoa, Ho Dinh Cuong, Tran Thanh Phuong, Ngo Van Dung, Doan Thi Hong and Le Quy Loc. Some are members of the Hien Phap group. The trial, however, was again canceled.
After several postponements of the trial, 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.
The court of appeals upheld the sentences of four activists alleged to be members of the Hien Phap (Constitution) group; they denied the affiliation at trial. They are Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hanh (eight years in prison); Ngo Van Dung and Le Quy Loc (five years each); and Ho Dinh Cuong (four years and six months). They were charged with “disturbing security”. Unlike the first trial, this time family members were allowed to observe the proceedings, albeit only via a video feed in the next room, due to the presence of the US Consul General in the courtroom.
Le Quy Loc‘s wife posted on her Facebook that her husband was beaten up in prison and had to be admitted to the hospital. He was hospitalized as a result of the beating. The reason why he was attacked was unknown at the time.
According to Defend the Defenders, Le Quy Loc and Ngo Van Dung were beaten so harshly at Phan Dang Luu Temporary Detention Center that they had to be sent for external treatment for several days at a hospital; in addition, Doan Thi Hong has reported extremely difficult prison conditions, possibly even torture.
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.”
Vietnam Human Rights Defenders’ Weekly Report for July 13-19, 2020: Trial against Eight Members of Hiến Pháp Group Set on July 31, Defend the Defenders, July 19, 2020
Eight Vietnamese Democracy Activists Given Long Terms in Prison, Radio Free Asia, July 31, 2020
Eight Members of Constitution Group Convicted, Sentenced to Total 40.5 Years in Prison and 20 Years of Probation, Defend the Defenders, July 31, 2020
Vietnam Court Rejects Appeal of ‘Constitution Group’ Protesters, Returning Them to Prison, Radio Free Asia, January 8, 2021
Vietnamese political prisoner moved to criminal cells, beaten by guards, Radio Free Asia, January 27, 2022
Profile last updated: 2023-09-28 15:30:01