Amnesty International Urgent Action: Safety Concerns for Vietnamese Activist


AI - 3 March 2016


There are increasing fears for the safety and security of Vietnamese Trần Minh Nhật, a former prisoner of conscience, who is facing ongoing harassment, intimidation and other human rights abuses by police in the province of Lâm Đồng in the south of Việt Nam.

On the night of 22 February, Trần Minh Nhật was at home when he heard loud noises outside. When Nhật and his mother went outside to see what was happening, stones were thrown at them by assailants in plain clothes who Nhật recognised as police from Lâm Hŕ district of Lâm Đồng province in the Central Highlands region of southern Việt Nam. One of the stones hit Nhật on the head causing him to bleed profusely. Nhật’s family provided him with first aid in their home but decided he required medical attention. As they travelled to a nearby hospital, they were confronted on the road by the same group of assailants in plain clothes. Nhật and his family sought sanctuary in the nearby home of his brother. The assailants surrounded the home and threw rocks at the house then eventually dispersed. This attack prevented Nhật from travelling to the hospital but he was eventually able to return to his home that night.

The attack on Trần Minh Nhật is the latest in a series of acts of harassment, intimidation and other human rights abuses against him and his family, which have included physical attacks. This was the fifth time in February that Nhật’s home was pelted with stones; on four previous occasions the perpetrators wore masks. In November 2015, Nhật was physically assaulted on two occasions by police. Two of Nhật’s brothers have also faced harassment; for example, during a routine traffic stop in February, police officers threatened to beat Nhật’s brother and burn down his home.

Nhật is a Redemptorist Catholic and a social rights activist. In August 2015, he was released from prison after serving a four year prison sentence for “carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration” under Article 79 of the Penal Code. Amnesty International designated him a prisoner of conscience.

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