Tran Van Bang

Current Status: Pre-trial detention

Photo of Tran Van Bang

Other Names: Trần Văn Bang

Date of Birth: March 1, 1961

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Engineer, Veteran

Last Known Prison: Chi Hoa prison, Ho Chi Minh city

Areas of Activism:

  • Democracy
  • Freedom of expression
  • Sovereignty

Known Affiliations:

Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:

  • Denial of Family Visit/Punitive Prison Transfer

November 2022:

Tran Van Bang, last known to be held at Chi Hoa prison, is reportedly in failing health and in need of medical treatment. His sister Biet said Bang told her last weekend he had developed a large tumor. She reported that his requests to be examined by a doctor had allegedly been denied several times; prison officials also allegedly said they’d take him to the hospital “if it became an emergency.”

Details - Background, History of Activism.

Tran Van Bang is an engineer and a veteran who joined the 1979 Sino-Vietnam Border War against Chinese expansionism. Bang lives and works in Ho Chi Minh city.

Profile photo source: Facebook of Tran Bang via RFA

Tran Van Bang is a pro-democracy activist and a local dissident who is deeply concerned about Vietnamese social and political issues. He is also a member of the Le Hieu Dang Club, a community organization advocating for democracy and the protection of Vietnam’s sovereignty. Bang attended several anti-China protests in Vietnam. In 2015, he was assaulted by local public security forces at a rally in Ho Chi Minh City protesting China and Xi Jinping’s visit to Vietnam.

Arrested March 1, 2022. Charged under Art. 117 (2015 Code).

March 1, 2022
  • Art. 117 (2015 Code)
Ho Chi Minh city public security, Ho Chi Minh city
Ward 25, Binh Thanh district (map)
  • Dang Dinh Manh
  • Nguyen Van Mieng
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression

Tran Van Bang received a summons dated February 25, 2022 by the Ho Chi Minh city public security, requesting him to be at the Investigating Agency Office (in District 1) on March 1. It is reported that he did not comply with the summons.

On March 1, state media reported that Ho Chi Minh city public security arrested Tran Van Bang at his house. He is accused of “storing, making, and posting online materials that propagandize, distort, and defame the Socialist Republic of Vietnam” under article 117 of the 2015 Criminal Code. 

According to state media, Bang’s Facebook posts had “intended to defy the government and negatively affect social security and order.” The authorities also declared that they searched his house and found “a number of books and materials containing anti-state information.” 

Following Bang's arrest, one of his lawyers, Dang Dinh Manh, shared on his Facebook that Tran Van Bang signed a contract with the lawyers before his arrest. On March 5, lawyer Dang Dinh Manh confirmed that the registration to defend his client had been approved within 24 hours. It was unprecedented, as Vietnamese lawyers usually face difficulties in the registering procedures required by law enforcement.  

On March 11, Tran Van Bang was transferred from the District 12 Detention Center to Chi Hoa prison without informing his family. The family only found out about the transfer on March 15 when they visited the detention center in District 12.

In an interview with RFA on February 17, 2022, Bang shared that due to his health problems, he had closed his Facebook account since December 26, 2021. He is facing severe eyesight issues and finger myositis.

Profile last updated: 2022-11-14 19:55:13

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