Profile

Tran Quang Hai

Current Status: Likely released - at risk

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Other Names: Trần Quang Hải

Date of Birth: 1991

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Driver

Areas of Activism:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Freedom of expression

Details - Background, History of Activism.

Hai, a taxi driver, lives and works in Que Vo, Bac Ninh Province.

Hai is an ordinary citizen with no prior activism record. He simply feels unjust about the location of the Pha Lai tollbooth and how it deals with surrounding local residents, hence his participation in a civil dispute with the management of Pha Lai tollbooth. 

BOT is a lucrative business in Vietnam where the corporates bid to work on certain infrastructure in exchange for the right of charging fees on the users. From 2017, a wave of national protests against these toll booths has emerged. Until now, dozens of activists and citizens have been jailed for opposing the installation and operation of these tollbooths across the country.

Arrested January 4, 2019. Sentenced to 1 year 6 months in prison under Art. 318 (2015 Code). Expected Release is July 3, 2020.

January 4, 2019
  • Art. 318 (2015 Code)
Que Vo District public security, Bac Ninh province
Tollbooth BOT Pha Lai, Que Vo District (map)
July 30, 2019
The People’s Court of Que Vo District, Bac Ninh province, Bac Ninh province
1 year 6 months in prison
July 3, 2020
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • freedom of peaceful assembly
  • fair trial
  • political participation

Local residents began to protest against Pha Lai tollbooth right after the central government allowed the tollbooth to charge road users, starting on December 24, 2018. Several of the protests were recorded and published online. On December 29, 2018, activist Ha Van Nam contacted Mr Nguyen Huynh Phong to ask how he can help the local residents. On December 31, 2018, Nam and Nguyen Quynh Phong, Le Van Khien, Nguyen Tuan Quan, Vu Van Ha, Ngo Quang Hung, and Tran Quang Hai, with over 100 local drivers, drove to BOT Pha Lai and refused to pay the tickets. There was no brawl or excessive measures used by the protesters. These drivers drove away at the end of the day, and  the alleged damage of the tollbooth was only at 27 million Vietnam Dong. 

However, somehow, the public security forces finished their “investigation” in 3 day and formally charged them on January 3, 2019. With this simple and mostly civic-related dispute. 

The first six suspects were arrested in January, 2019 and Ha Van Nam was arrested on March 05, 2019, two months later. They were tried in the same trial on July 30 2019, and considered “accomplices” by the authority.

Profile last updated: 2020-09-11 03:35:50

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