Thich Nhat Hue
Current Status: Released - at risk
Other Names: Venerable Thích Nhật Huệ, Phan Trung
Date of Birth:
Last Known Prison: Bo La prison camp, Binh Duong province
Areas of Activism:
Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:
- Former Political Prisoner
Project 88 learned that Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hue, birth name Phan Trung, was released from prison a year early, on July 16. No reason was given for his early release. Trung was a member of the group Liên Minh Dân Tộc Tự Quyết (National Alliance for Self-Determination). He was sentenced in 2016 to eight years in prison under Article 79 of the 1999 Criminal Code for “subversion.”
Vietnam jails five people accused of attempting to overthrow state, Channel News Asia, October 5, 2018
Arrested November 16, 2016. Sentenced to 8 years in prison under Art. 79 (1999 Code). Released July 16, 2023.
- Art. 79 (1999 Code)
Venerable Thich Nhat Hue was arrested on November 16, 2016, under Art. 79, in the same case with Luu Van Vinh and Nguyen Van Duc Do.
Luu Van Vinh was sentenced to 15 years in prison on October 5. His co-defendants were also sentenced to prison terms: Nguyen Quoc Hoan, 13 years; Nguyen Van Duc Do, 11 years; Tu Cong Nghia, 10 years; and Phan Van Trung (Thich Nhat Hue), 8 years. The five had been detained since November 2016, and all were charged under Article 79 of the 1999 Criminal Code for subversion. Vinh founded a group called the Coalition for Self-Determination for the Vietnamese People, which he had left a few days before his arrest; others were implicated as allegedly belonging to the group, which called for political change in Vietnam
At 9:00 am on January 21, the appeal trial against Luu Van Vinh (sentenced to 15 years) and his co-defendants Nguyen Quoc Hoan (13 years), Nguyen Van Duc Do (11 years), Tu Cong Nghia (10 years), and Phan Van Trung (also known as Thich Nhat Hue, 8 years) began. But since one defense counsel, who was appointed by the authorities for Phan Trung, did not show up, the trial was postponed. A new date was not immediately announced.
On March 18, five activists faced their appeal trial at the Higher People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City. They were Luu Van Vinh (sentenced to 15 years) and his co-defendants Nguyen Quoc Hoan (13 years), Nguyen Van Duc Do (11 years), Tu Cong Nghia (10 years), and Phan Van Trung (also known as Thich Nhat Hue, 8 years). All five prisoners' sentences were upheld on appeal. The five maintained their innocence and protested the Court's decision. Only Vinh's wife was allowed inside the courtroom. The trial was originally set for January 21, 2019, but since one defense counsel, who was appointed by the authorities for Phan Trung, did not show up, the trial was postponed.
“Thirteen people have been placed behind bars in the past five weeks for ‘crimes’ such as blogging, using Facebook and other peaceful pursuits," Amnesty International said in response to the October 5 trial. Human Rights Watch called for the release of the five co-defendants as well.
Human Rights Watch called for the release of Thich Nhat Hue and his co-defendants, as well as activsit Le Minh The (who was facing his first-instance hearing during the same week), saying that "[i]nternational donors and trade partners should tell Vietnam that continuing this crackdown will cause problems for the aid and trade deals that Hanoi wants to conclude with North America and the European Union.”
Vietnam: 6 Activists Headed to Prison, Human Rights Watch, March 14, 2019
Five Vietnamese Activists Shout Down Judge After Subversion Appeals Rejected, Radio Free Asia, March 18, 2019
Profile last updated: 2023-10-04 18:49:02