Vietnam Continues Persecution against Brotherhood for Democracy, Arresting Its Spokesman



Defend the Defenders

 August 6, 2017


Vietnam’s communist government has continued its crackdown against Brotherhood for Democracy, detaining its Spokesman Nguyen Trung Truc.

On August 4, police in the central province of Quang Binh arrested Truc, who is also responsible for the organization’s training, and charged him with “carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the People’s Administration” under Article 79 of the 1999 Penal Code.

Truc has been under constant harassment of Vietnam’s security forces due to his activism. Last year, he and other seven activists were kidnapped, barbarically beaten and robbed by plainclothes agents.

The arrest of Mr. Truc was made five days after the detention of four members of Brotherhood for Democracy namely Nguyen Trung Ton, Pham Van Troi, Truong Minh Duc and Nguyen Bac Truyen. All of them were charged with subversion under Article 79.

After their arrest, Amnesty International issued a statement calling Vietnam to release them and drop all charges against them, saying they just exercise their rights of freedom of expression and association which are enshrined in the country’s 2013 Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in which Vietnam is a state party.

During the week, police also detained arrested Tran Tuan Kiet, a lecture of the Can Tho College, and charged him with “Abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the State, the legitimate rights and interests of organizations and/or citizens” under Article 258 of the Penal Code for his writing on Facebook.

Many international human rights organizations including Amnesty International and ARTICLE 19 continue to demand Vietnam release human rights activist Tran Thi Nga and other prisoners of conscience. Amnesty International calls on international community to write petitions to Vietnam’s leaders to request for immediate and unconditional release all activists who have been peacefully carrying out activities to promote and protect human rights and/or peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression, opinion or belief, assembly, and/or association.

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