Profile

Tu Cong Nghia

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

No image

Other Names: Từ Công Nghĩa

Date of Birth:

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Last Known Prison: Xuyen Moc prison, Ba Ria-Vung Tau province

Areas of Activism:

  • Democracy

May 2019:

According to news from Le Thi Thap, political prisoner Luu Van Vinh's wife, authorities transferred Tu Cong Nghia, one of Vinh's co-defendants, from Bo La to Xuyen Moc Detention Center, Ba Ria - Vung Tau province on May 20, 2019. However, the detention center did not inform Nghia’s family directly. Thap also confirmed that only Nghia was transferred, while the other co-defendants are still held in Bo La Detention Center. 

Details

Immediate Concerns

May 2019:

According to news from Le Thi Thap, political prisoner Luu Van Vinh's wife, authorities transferred Tu Cong Nghia, one of Vinh's co-defendants, from Bo La to Xuyen Moc Detention Center, Ba Ria - Vung Tau province on May 20, 2019. However, the detention center did not inform Nghia’s family directly. Thap also confirmed that only Nghia was transferred, while the other co-defendants are still held in Bo La Detention Center. 

Sentenced to 10 years in prison under Art. 117 (2015 Code), Art. 79 (1999 Code). Expected Release is November, 2026.

  • Art. 117 (2015 Code)
  • Art. 79 (1999 Code)
(map)
October 5, 2018
10 years in prison
November, 2026
Details of Imprisonment

Tu Cong Nghia was arrested in November 2016 in the same case with Luu Van Vinh and Nguyen Van Duc Do. Little information has been available about him.

October 2018:

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, 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.

January 2019:

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. 

March 2019:

On March 18, five activists faced their appeal trial at the Higher People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City. They are 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. 

Actions Taken

October 2018:

“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. 

March 2019:

Human Rights Watch called for the release of Nghia 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.”

Resources

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

October 5, 2018: trial

October 5, 2018
(map)

Details of Imprisonment

Tu Cong Nghia was arrested in November 2016 in the same case with Luu Van Vinh and Nguyen Van Duc Do. Little information has been available about him.

October 2018:

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, 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.

January 2019:

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. 

March 2019:

On March 18, five activists faced their appeal trial at the Higher People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City. They are 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. 

Actions Taken

October 2018:

“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. 

March 2019:

Human Rights Watch called for the release of Nghia 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.”

Resources

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: 2024-06-13 20:34:03

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