Vietnam Arrests Another Member of Online Democracy Group
RFA - 09/01/2017
northern Vietnam’s coastal Thai Binh province arrested another member of the
Brotherhood for Democracy association on Friday, adding to the growing numbers
of the online advocacy group put behind bars in recent weeks, the man’s wife
Nguyen Van Tuc, a former political prisoner, was taken into custody at around
8:45 a.m. on Sept. 1 after being called to a meeting at the local District
People’s Committee, his wife Bui Thi Re told RFA’s Vietnamese Service.
“I learned that he was arrested while on his way there and was put into a car
and taken to an unknown location,” she said. “We don’t know yet where he is.”
About a hundred police then came to their house to carry out a search, Bui Thi
“I was alone in the house, and they made me sit in a chair and read a search
warrant while they spent the day looking through the house,” she said, adding
that police then confiscated a number of shirts carrying the Brotherhood for
Democracy logo, some money that had been donated for her mother’s funeral, and
several electric chargers.
Writing later on Facebook, dissidents familiar with Tuc’s case said that the
veteran activist, who had previously represented villagers in Thai Binh
province’s Dong Hung district in a land dispute, had been arrested on charges of
subversion under the provisions of Article 79 of Vietnam’s penal code.
Tuc, 53, had previously spent four years in prison after being convicted in 2008
of conducting anti-state propaganda under Article 88 of the penal code. He was
freed in 2012 after serving his full term.
Others also held
Tuc was at least the sixth member of the Brotherhood for Democracy group, which
was founded in 2013, to have been arrested in recent weeks.
On Aug. 4, police in central Vietnam’s Quang Binh province took into custody
another former political prisoner, Nguyen Trung Tuc, on charges of working to
topple the country’s one-party communist state.
Four other members of the group were arrested on the same charges the week
before. Taken into custody were Protestant pastor Nguyen Trung Ton, 45, engineer
Pham Van Troi, 45, journalist Truong Minh Duc, 57, and lawyer Nguyen Bac Truyen,
49, according to a statement on the website of Vietnam’s Ministry of Public
In May, jailed human rights attorney and activist Nguyen Van Dai, a founding
member of the group, received an award in absentia from the German Association
of Judges, the Deutscher Richterbund, honoring him for his work in human rights.
Jailed once before for his role in Vietnam’s growing democracy movement, Dai was
taken into custody again in December 2015 after he left his home in Hanoi to
meet with European Union representatives who were researching human rights
issues in Vietnam.
Communist Vietnam, where all media are state-controlled, does not tolerate
dissent, and rights groups identify Article 79 as among a set of vague
provisions that authorities have used to detain dozens of writers and bloggers.
RFA's Vietnamese Service. Translated by Emily Peyman. Written in English by