Political prisoner Dang Dinh Bach‘s wife, Tran Phuong Thao, updated The 88 Project after a recent visit and phone call with Bach.
He has been transferred to a new prison; his wife did not find out until she went to the old prison to visit him. Political prisoners and their families commonly face this practice in Vietnam.
Bach is serving five years in prison on charges of “tax evasion.” In August, a court upheld the sentence.
Update, November 2, 2022:
On October 16, Dang Dinh Bach’s wife, Tran Phuong Thao, visited Hanoi Detention Center No. 1 and found out that Bach was transferred to Prison No 6 in Nghe An Province on October 14.
Prison No. 6 is 300 km away from Hanoi, so Bach’s family (Thao, Bach’s father-in-law, Bach’s brother-in-law, and Bach’s sister) departed on October 19 at 4 am so that they could register to meet with Bach within the day. According to Thao, the prison authorities made it difficult for the family to find out in which area of the prison Bach was held. It wasn’t until 10:30 am that they were able to register to meet with Bach. The family finally met with him in person at 4 pm. Only Thao and Bach’s sister were allowed to see Bach. Even though Bach’s father-in-law and brother-in-law prepared all of the required documents to submit to the prison authorities for the visit, they were denied.
Bach is reported to be pretty healthy. Thao told The 88 Project that she did ask Bach about the living conditions at Prison No 6., but Bach did not answer her question. “Perhaps they reminded him not to say anything about it,” Thao said. She also shared that she had sent warm clothes, necessities, and books for him.
On October 27, Bach called home for 10 minutes, asking Thao to continue her international advocacy for him, as he is innocent. He told his wife that he had not received any books, while Thao told him that she has not received the letter he sent.
Dang Dinh Bach is an NGO leader and environmental advocate. Many suspect that the charge brought against him is politically motivated.
Also watch our interview with his wife, Thao, filmed two months after Bach’s trial, to learn more about the family’s story and Bach’s contribution to the environmental movement in Vietnam (interview with English subtitles and Vietnamese subtitles).
© 2022 The 88 Project