Le Thu Van

Current Status: Pre-trial detention

Photo of Le Thu Van

Other Names: Lê Thu Vân

Date of Birth: 1957

Gender: F

Religion: Buddhist

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Religious leader

Areas of Activism:

  • Religious freedom

Communities At Risk:

Le Thu Van is currently under house arrest at Tinh That Bong Lai Buddhist Monastery.

Details - Background, History of Activism.

Le Thu Van is a nun at the Tinh That Bong Lai Buddhist Monastery, who is suffering from end-stage colon cancer. 

Profile photo source: Viet Giai Tri

Note: We've listed the religion in this profile as "Buddhist" due to the activist's self-identification, but we note that the Buddhism practiced in this case is Buu Son Ky Huong, a more informal, cultural interpretation of Buddhist belief.

Le Thu Van lives and practices Buddhism at the Tinh That Bong Lai monastery.

Arrested July 28, 2022. Charged under Art. 331 (2015 Code).

July 28, 2022
  • Art. 331 (2015 Code)
Long An province public security, Long An province
Phu Nhuan District (map)
  • Trinh Vinh Phuc
  • Ngo Thi Hoang Anh
  • Dao Kim Lan
  • Dang Dinh Manh
  • Nguyen Van Mieng
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of belief and religion

Le Thu Van is the seventh person from the Tinh That Bong Lai Buddhist Monastery who was wanted by the Long An Province Public Security since May 2022 under the same Article 331 of “abusing democratic freedoms.” She was not at the monastery when the warrant was issued.

On July 27, 2022, Le Thu Van, who is suffering from end-stage colon cancer, went to Lawyer Dang Dinh Manh and asked the Tinh That Bong Lai group’s lawyers to accompany her to a police station, as she was turning herself in on the charge.  Manh contacted his ward police and asked them to receive her. He also told them about her critical health condition and her need for medical care.

Originally, Le Thu Van stayed at the monastery, taught the orphans living there, and managed everyday cooking tasks. However, she was also accused of participating in the videos that “abuse” democratic freedoms.

The lawyers and Le Thu Van went to the ward police station early on July 28, 2022. The ward police also informed Long An Province Public Security of her intentions. Long An Public Security then sent a car to pick Le Thu Van up to bring her into custody for paperwork submissions. The Public Security then called people from Tinh That Bong Lai and gave them permission to bring Le Thu Van back to the monastery within the day to take care of her better.

The group of lawyers said that the public security issued a summons to request Le Thu Van to be present at 8:00 a.m. on August 16 at the Duc Hoa District Police headquarters. However, she was too weak to leave the house to work with the police that day. Instead, the police went to the monastery to question her. On the same day, the lawyers sent a petition to the Long An authorities, asking them to suspend their investigation due to Le Thu Van's poor health conditions. "Mrs. Le Thu Van's cancer is in the final stage and her life is only counted in days,” lawyer Dao Kim Lan said

Currently, Le Thu Van is under house arrest at the monastery. Her co-defendants, Le Tung Van, Le Thanh Nhat Nguyen, Le Thanh Nhi Nguyen, Le Thanh Hoan Nguyen, and Le Thanh Trung Duong and Cao Thi Cuc, on July 21, 2022, were sentenced to a combined 23 years and six months in prison on charges of “abusing democratic freedoms.” The lawyers were able to post bail for head monk  Le Tung Van, and helped the group to file an appeal against the sentences.  

Le Thu Van was undergoing late stage cancer treatment at the time of her arrest.

Profile last updated: 2022-09-07 03:04:26

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