Nguyen Thai Hung
Current Status: Sentenced to prison
Other Names: Nguyễn Thái Hưng
Date of Birth: August 19, 1976
Last Known Prison: Prison No. B5, Dong Nai province
Areas of Activism:
- Human rights
- Police Brutality
An appeal court in Dong Nai Province upheld the sentences for YouTube blogger Nguyen Thai Hung (four years) and his wife Vu Thi Kim Hoang (two and a half years) for “abusing democratic freedoms.” Their Youtube channel had only a modest following of 40,000 followers but became a target of investigation after their reporting on the deadly police raid of Dong Tam Commune in January 2020. The couple was arrested in January 2022, but Hoang was later released in April that year. After the trial, Hoang told RFA that she had no part in the making or production of the videos and that “the outcome was unfair.”
Details - Background, History of Activism, Family Situation, Contact Information.
Hung has been sharing his views on the YouTube channel since January 2020, which has been followed by nearly 40,000 subscribers. At the time of this writing, the account is still active, however, all videos on his channel are no longer available since his arrest on January 5, 2022.
Moreover, his Facebook account is accessible, but the most recent post, which discussed the death of a young soldier, Tran Duc Do, is from July 2021. From what we read on his Facebook account, Hung has raised his voice about life under Communist rule in Vietnam, police brutality, anti-corruption, democracy, and current issues in Vietnamese society in terms of social, political, and economical problems.
Arrested January 5, 2022. Sentenced to 4 years in prison under Art. 331 (2015 Code).
- Art. 331 (2015 Code)
- freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
- liberty and security of the person
- freedom of expression
- fair trial
On January 5, 2022, local police in the southern province of Dong Nai broke into Hung's home and arrested him and his wife, Vu Thi Kim Hoang, while he was live streaming criticism of the government on YouTube.
Hung was arrested while the camera was still rolling, therefore, the viewers of the livestream were able to witness the incident, which was recorded by RFA and is available here.
According to the recorded video, Hung was talking about the new law on traffic violations. About 20 minutes into the broadcast, Hung suddenly heard something that sounded like glass breaking, so he left his computer to see what was happening. Shortly after, a man in an orange “Electricity of Vietnam” uniform appeared in the livestream frame, shouting, “Stay still. Don’t move.” At that point, the webcam was turned down to show only a corner of the table and what looks to be a script. The surreal video clip, which captured the sounds of breaking glass and shouting men, has since gone viral.
Vu Giang Tien, the sister-in-law of Hung, said that the incident took place around 6 pm on January 5. Four men suddenly entered the house and broke the glass door to open it. The two kids of Hung and Hoang were taken to an upstairs room to be interrogated, which is totally unlawful. Shortly after, many uniformed police came and surrounded the house. They searched the house, making a mess; then they arrested Hung and his wife. The intense forceful entry made it seem like a burglary at first. The couple was taken away around 10 pm.
At the time, the couple’s family was neither shown any warrants for arrests nor told why this had happened.
On January 7, 2022, the family went to the Tan Phu police station to find out more and were handed an announcement by police, stating that Hoang had been arrested for “abusing democratic freedoms” under Article 331 of the 2015 Criminal Code.
The Dong Nai authorities have yet to make any official statement on Hung’s case. He is still being held and the family has not been allowed to see him since his arrest.
Nguyen Thai Hung has been infected with Covid-19, his family reported, though they don’t know where he’s being held.
Vietnam police arrest couple as they livestream criticism of the government, RFA, January 10, 2022
Đồng Nai: Hai vợ chồng bị bắt giam khi đang trên sóng live stream nói về chế độ cộng sản, RFA Vietnamese, January 10, 2022
Vietnam police arrest man while livestreaming on social media, FRA YouTube channel, January 11, 2022
Đồng Nai: Giữa lúc livestream, đôi vợ chồng bị bắt vì ‘lợi dụng tự do dân chủ’, VOA Vietnamese, January 12, 2022
Sắp xử phúc thẩm, công an thuyết phục Youtuber "Nói Bằng Thực TV" nhận tội, RFA Vietnamese, March 8, 2023
Vietnamese court upholds jail terms for couple over YouTube channel content, RFA, March 29, 2023
Profile last updated: 2023-04-07 19:19:53