Rah Lan Hip

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Rah Lan Hip

Other Names: Ama Kiêu, Kiêu Rah Lan (Facebook Nickname)

Date of Birth: 1981

Gender: M

Religion: Christian (Protestant)

Ethnicity: Montagnard (Jrai)

Areas of Activism:

  • Religious freedom

Communities At Risk:

June 2020:

The US government released its annual report on religious freedom across the globe. In it, they continue to list concerns for Vietnam’s protection of religious freedom. The report states that, “Religious leaders, particularly those representing groups without official recognition or certificates of registration, reported various forms of government harassment – including physical assaults, arrests, prosecutions, monitoring, travel restrictions, and property seizure or destruction – and denials or no response to requests for registration and/or other permissions. In August Rah Lan Hip was sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted of ‘undermining the unity policy’ when he encouraged ethnic minority Degar Protestants to resist government pressure to renounce their faith.” 

Details - Background, History of Activism, Family Situation.

According to state media, Rah Lan Hip joined a group of Dega Protestants in 2000 and participated in demonstrations in Pleiku City and Chu Prong District, Gia Lai Province, in the years of 2001 and 2004. These demonstrations were probably to promote their rights to freedom of religion; the state then accused them of “undermining the unity policy."

He has a wife and five children, the eldest one born in 2005 and the youngest one in 2019.

Hình phạt 7 năm tù cho kẻ “Phá hoại chính sách đoàn kết” của dân tộc., Official website of Chu Prong District, Gia Lai Province, August 23, 2019

Arrested May 15, 2019. Sentenced to 7 years in prison and 3 years probation under Art. 116 (2015 Code). Expected Release is May 15, 2026.

May 15, 2019
  • Art. 116 (2015 Code)
Gia Lai province public security, Gia Lai province
Gia Lai province (map)
August 9, 2019
The People’s Court of Gia Lai Province
7 years in prison and 3 years probation
May 15, 2026
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • freedom of peaceful assembly
  • freedom of association
  • fair trial
  • freedom of belief and religion

Rah Lan Hip’s arrest and prosecution was informally released by state media. The article, posted on May 15, 2019, said that public security of Gia Lai province had completed the compilation of Hip and other profiles in mid-March 2019 and decided to prosecute them for “undermining the national unity policy,” under Article 116 of the 2015 Penal Code.  His exact arrest date is unknown, so here we use the date of this article.

On August 9, 2019, the People’s Court of Gia Lai province held a trial against Hip. According to the indictment, Hip was accused of using his Facebook account, namely Kieu Rah Lan, to share articles on Dega Protestantism since April 2018. He was also alleged to connect with two “reactionaries” in the United States through Facebook and received their 18 million VND (approximately 775 USD) to support for his activities, including collecting data on the prisoners and followers of FULRO (a reactionary organization, according to state's accusation), as well as promoting Dega Protestantism.

In addition, the state media kept reporting that from October 2018 to March 2019, Hip had organized four meetings of Dega Protestants, with people attending meetings 21 times, to propagate and promote others to maintain FULRO activities and Dega Protestantism, with the aim to contribute to the establishment of a “Dega State” in the Central Highlands. 

Finally, Hip was sentenced to seven years in jail and three years of probation.

Profile last updated: 2020-06-23 22:09:17

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