Political prisoner Dang Dinh Bach‘s wife, Tran Phuong Thao, updated The 88 Project on his prison conditions after a recent visit. Bach is serving five years in prison on charges of “tax evasion.” In August, a court upheld the sentence; his wife reported she was not allowed into the courtroom.
Update, October 4, 2022:
Thao shared with The 88 Project that Bach’s lawyers have not received the official copy of the verdict from his appeal trial. Bach is still being held at Hanoi Police Detention Center No. 1 in Hanoi. Thao met with Bach on September 15, 2022, for the second time since his appeal hearing in August. Thao said Bach reminded her that he needed books to read. He also asked for a type of traditional medicine and garlic (to use as a natural antibiotic) for his chronic asthma, as he feels the illness is getting worse. Since August 31, 2022, Thao has been asking the detention center what paperwork she should submit so that she can send Bach these items, but she has not received a reply. When she gave detention center guards her petitions, they refused to receive them.
Thao visits the detention center weekly, sending Bach food and repeatedly asking the detention center to let her send Bach medications and other items. On September 27, the detention center guards told her that the items he is asking for are not allowed. Per Thao: “Bach used to use an Eastern traditional medicine when he suffered from shortness of breath. The guards asked me to show them Bach’s medical record written by a doctor, which shows the name of the medicine. As it is a traditional method of treatment, we do not have any medical records. So they denied my request. Regarding sending books, I let them check the books but they still did not allow it. Even though I can’t send Bach garlic, I asked the guards to offer Bach the garlic from the detention center’s kitchen, but they told me there is no garlic there,” Thao shared.
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, Tran Phuong 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 Dang Dinh Bach’s wife with English subtitles and Vietnamese subtitles).
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