Nguyen Duc Quoc Vuong
Current Status: Sentenced to prison
Other Names: Nguyễn Quốc Đức Vượng, Vượng Nguyễn (Facebook Nickname)
Date of Birth: 1991
Religion: Christian (Catholic)
Last Known Prison: An Phuoc detention center, Binh Duong province
Areas of Activism:
- Freedom of expression
Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:
- Denial of Legal Representation
- Prolonged Incommunicado Detention
- Denial of Family Visit/Punitive Prison Transfer
- Online commentator
Authorities transferred Nguyen Duc Quoc Vuong from Trai Mat prison, Lam Dong Province, to An Phuoc detention center in Binh Duong Province, more than 300 km from his family’s home. The family didn't learn about the transfer until three days after it happened. A protester and popular Facebooker, Vuong was tried on July 7, 2020, and sentenced to eight years in prison under Article 117 of the 2015 Criminal Code for "propaganda against the state.”
After Vuong’s family found out that he had been transferred, his brother decided to visit him. He completed all of the registration procedures and waited until the afternoon until he was allowed to see Vuong. It had been almost a year since the brothers had been able to see each other, following Vuong’s arrest. The meeting lasted for 30 minutes under close supervision. His brother reported that Vuong is healthy, mentally sharp, and strong. After being in prison for almost a year, Vuong hadn’t been allowed to contact his family. He was told that everyone had abandoned him. His brother told him that was a lie. Vuong was happy to hear that and asked his brother to thank everyone.
Details - Background, History of Activism.
Vuong was living with his father and four older siblings in Lac Lam Commune, Don Duong District, Lam Dong Province, prior to arrest. His mother passed away. He used to work as a farmer, but after changing jobs and suffering from multiple harassment incidents from the authorities, he was working as an assistant driver for his brother prior to arrest.
Profile photo source: Facebook Vượng Nguyễn
Vuong Nguyen is a popular Facebooker with more than 10,500 followers. Besides sharing news articles, Vuong often live-streams to express his opinion and debate on national and social issues such as sovereignty, corruption, and land rights.
Vuong participated in the mass demonstrations against two bills on Special Economic Zone and Cybersecurity on June 10, 2018. The security police of Tan Tao Ward, Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh city fined him 750.000 VND (approximately 35 USD) for “disturbing public order." According to Facebooker Vo Hong Ly, Vuong was detained for three days by public security near Hoang Van Thu park during the protest.
Arrested September 23, 2019. Sentenced to 8 years in prison under Art. 117 (2015 Code). Expected Release is September 23, 2027.
- Art. 117 (2015 Code)
- freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
- liberty and security of the person
- freedom of expression
- fair trial
Nguyen Quoc Duc Vuong, or Facebooker Vuong Nguyen, was arrested on September 23, 2019. At 11:00 AM, hundreds of public security officers raided Vuong’s house in Lac Lam Commune, Don Duong District, Lam Dong Province and took him away in handcuffs in front of his father and siblings. The public security also confiscated Vuong's cell phone and laptop before leaving.
Vuong was prosecuted and contemporarily detained under investigation for “Making, storing, spreading, or propagating information, materials, items for the purpose of opposing the State of Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” Article 117 of the 2015 Criminal Code. State-owned media reported that during the prior two years, Vuong had used social media to create, post, and propagate articles with the content defaming the state and former President Ho Chi Minh, as well as against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
On October 22, 2019, Nguyen Duc Quoc Vuong’s family finally had a visit record book provided by Trai Mat prison, Lam Dong province, confirming that that is where he was detained.
On June 12, Nguyen Van Mieng, Nguyen Duc Quoc Vuong’s attorney, went to Trai Mat prison, Lam Dong Province, to have his first meeting with Vuong at the request of his family. After the meeting, Mieng told Vuong's family that he is healthy, mentally stable, and very strong. Vuong told his lawyer that he won't plead guilty and will appeal his sentence despite whatever happens at his first instance trial.
On June 18, a Lam Dong court granted permission for Nguyen Duc Quoc Vuong‘s family to visit him, so Vuong’s older brother and the attorney went to the detention center. The prison staff took the application but didn’t allow them to see Vuong at that time.
The People’s Court of Lam Dong Province tried online commentator Nguyen Quoc Duc Vuong on July 7, 2020, and sentenced him to eight years in prison under Article 117 of the 2015 Criminal Code for "propaganda against the state.” Since his arrest on September 23, 2019, Vuong Nguyen has not been able to meet with his family, and only met with his attorney, Nguyen Van Vuong, on June 12, 2020.
Human Rights Watch released a statement, urging authorities to free him and drop the charges against him. HRW noted that “While it is unclear exactly which of his Facebook postings the government objected to, his account reflects a wide range of independent views that the Vietnam Communist Party and government might find objectionable. None, however, involve incitement to crime, violence, hate speech, or other content that can be subject to any criminal charge consistent with the right to freedom of expression, which Vietnam pledged to respect by joining the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
Activist Vuong Nguyen in Lam Dong Province Arrested For Online Political Commentaries, The 88 Project, September 24, 2019
Tạm giam đối tượng hoạt động nhằm chống Nhà nước, Cong An Nhan Dan Newspaper, September 27, 2019
Vietnam: New Arrest for Facebook Postings, Human Rights Watch, October 7, 2019
Vietnam jails Facebook user for pro-democracy broadcasts, Channel News Asia, July 7, 2020
US voices concern over Vietnam sentence to Facebook user, Channel News Asia, July 9, 2020
Profile last updated: 2020-10-06 23:53:19