Many Vietnamese Activists under House Arrest One Day Ahead of Open Trial against Two Pro-democracy Fighters, One Detained on Wednesday

 

Defend the Defenders

December 15, 2016

 

Authorities in many Vietnamese localities have been deploying local security forces to private residences of activists, putting them de facto under house arrest one day prior to the open trial against two pro-democracy campaigners, the victims have complained on social networks.

Vu Quoc Ngu, chief executive officer of non-profit human rights organization Defend the Defenders, said the police in Thanh Tri district, Hanoi, sent a group of five plainclothes agents to station near his house in early morning of Thursday.

Blogger Nguyen Tuong Thuy, vice chairman of the unsanctioned Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam, said his house is also under surveillance of local police. However, he left his house earlier and headed to the northern province of Thai Binh where the trial will be held on Friday.

Blogger Le Anh Hung, who already left his house in Thanh Xuan district, said local police come and told his mother that he should stay at home, otherwise he will be arrested.

In the central province of Nghe An, police detained former political prisoner Tran Duc Thach on Wednesday to Dien Chau district police. His family said that Thach is still under detention. The detention may be related to the trial against the two activists.

Vietnamís authorities always not allow relatives and friends as well as activists to attend so called open trials against dissidents, social activists and human rights defenders. In March, the Ministry of Public Security issued a circular banning people from gathering near courtrooms, especially in political cases.

In many open trials against local activists, Vietnamís authorities have detained and even beaten many activists who try to come to support defendants.

Meanwhile, the Peopleís Court in Thai Binh will hold first hearing against Mr. Kim and Mr. Tung, two former prisoners of conscience on Friday on allegation of conducting attempts to overthrow the state under Article 79 of the Penal Code.

The two activists are facing heavy sentences according to the countryís law. For further details of the case, please see our previous report at:  http://www.vietnamhumanrightsdefenders.net/2016/12/06/vietnam-to-try-two-pro-democracy-activists-after-nearly-15-months-of-detention/

 

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