The Vietnam Human Rights Network releases its 2009 Annual Report

  

The Vietnam Human Rights Network today, March 27, 2010,  releases its first annual report in Vietnamese, English, and French languages. The report focuses on various areas of human rights violations in Vietnam, especially Civil and Political Liberties, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Human Trafficking… The report also includes a list of prisoners of conscience updated as of March 2010. 

 

 

VIETNAM HUMAN RIGHTS NETWORK

14550 Magnolia St., Suite 203, Westminster, CA 92683 - U.S.A.
Tel.: 714-897-1950  &  714-657-9488

Email: vnhrnet@vietnamhumanrights.net

http://www.vietnamhumanrights.net

  

2009 Report on Human Rights Situation in Vietnam

  

Summary 

Soon after being removed from the U.S. State Department List of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) in 2006 and subsequently admitted to the World Trade Organization in 2007, the Hanoi Regime launched a wicked and systematic campaign against those involved in the non-violent movements demanding freedom, democracy, and human rights for Vietnam.

Hanoi authorities have abused their legal system to repress independent voices and those of dissidents, who only peacefully fought for freedom and human rights.  They made the most of ‘legal measures’ that criminalize all political activities, thus enabling them to deny the existence of ‘political prisoners’ in Vietnam.

At least more than 20 individuals were arrested and sentenced to multi-years jail terms in 2009, and many more have been harassed, pursued, or put under house arrest.  Escalated premonitory measures were employed against dissidents, especially those who dared to speak out against the occupation of the Paracel and Spratly Archipelagoes by China. 

Religious leaders, their followers, and victims of illegally seized land and properties were viciously attacked and beaten by uniformed public security agents and hooligans at the pay of the police when they gathered to demand the return of their land and properties, which had been unjustly confiscated.

The victims of injustice who upon losing their houses and lands presented their petitions to central government offices in Hanoi and Saigon asking for the return of their properties illegally seized by local governments were also dispersed or roughly beaten by the police.

Point of note: we sincerely disagree with the U.S. State Department’s view that there is openness and enough progress concerning ‘Religious Freedom’ in Vietnam, and its decision not to put Vietnam back onto the CPC list regardless of numerous requests from congressional members, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and many human rights organizations.

This Report is based on accurate accounts and information provided by the victims themselves and witnesses from many regions throughout Vietnam.  The VNHRN wishes to present to the World community the current blatant violations of Human Rights by the Hanoi Regime in the hope that such violations might be restrained or even stopped thanks to the positive intervention and attention of democratic governments and international organizations and personalities who are deeply concerned about victims of the ongoing oppression in Vietnam. 

 

I. Criminalizing Rightful Political Activities

During the year 2009, the human rights situation in Vietnam was marked by numerous arrests, prosecutions, and imprisonments of peaceful political activists on the basis of the 1999 Criminal Code, especially invoking Articles 79 and 88.  These articles stipulate that the expressions of political opinions by peaceful means such as discussing, gathering, or distributing of literatures that contradict the Communist Party's policies constitute ‘crimes’ in the eyes of the law and those guilty of such ‘crimes’ could be sanctioned up to 20 years of prison (Art. 88); or even executed if their activities are deemed to ‘aim at overthrowing the people’s government’ (Art. 79).

It is important to mention here that as a member of the United Nations, Vietnam has since September 1982 ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which clearly states that, ‘Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference’ (Art. 19.1). However, as in previous years with the prosecutions of Reverend Nguyen Van Ly, Lawyer Le Thi Cong Nhan, Lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and tens of other dissidents, the same tactic of criminalization was repeated in 2009 with Messrs. Ngo Quynh, Nguyen Kim Nhan, Nguyen Manh Son, Nguyen Xuan Nghia, Nguyen Van Tinh, Nguyen Van Tuc, Pham Van Troi, Vu Hung, Tran Duc Thanh, Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, Nguyen Tien Trung, Tran Anh Kim, Le Thang Long, and Lawyer Le Cong Dinh.  Those dissidents were also charged under the 1999 Criminal Code simply for the peaceful expression of their political opinions. 

 

II. Hooligan Calamity

A characteristic aspect of the human rights violations in Vietnam in 2009 is the use of hooligans and sometimes orchestrated public denunciation campaigns by the government to terrorize and suppress human rights activists, dissidents, and the faithful of various religious denominations.  These thugs employed abject and brutal means including sticks and bricks to inflict injuries on victims.  They threw human excrement and dirty materials into the houses of individuals whom the government deemed antagonists.  The case of writer Tran Khai Thanh Thuy whose house was attacked with feces several times, and who together with her husband was repeatedly assaulted and injured, is but one example.

The scene of hundreds of thugs raiding Thai Ha Parish in Hanoi under the indifferent eye of some 500 police officers in September 2008 is replicated at Tam Toa Parish in Quang Binh Province (where protests gathered at one point as much as 200,000 people) and Loan Ly Parish near Hue this year.  In Lam Dong Province, public security hired mobs to harass and beat up some 400 monks and nuns of the Buddhist Bat Nha Monastery, forcing them to leave the monastery and to disband even after they have found temporary refuge in a second monastery (Phuoc Hue).

These wickedly cruel actions, though aiming at frightening off and discouraging those who are involved in the struggle for justice, actually demean the government in the eyes of people of all faiths, as well as generate more hatred and suspicion amongst various segments of the population. 

 

III. Freedom of Worship, Only One Aspect of the Freedom of Religion

During the past few years, restrictions concerning religious services have, in fact, been relaxed to a certain degree.  Faithful are relatively free to attend mass and services at their chosen churches or temples, some recently rebuilt with the government’s permission.

However, it is too simplistic to conclude that this is all there is to freedom of religion and an encouraging sign of ‘glasnost’ when the country is still under the communist grip.  Following are a few remarks about the religious freedom currently being obtained in Vietnam:

1.      The state goes on using the “Ordinance Regarding Religious Beliefs and Religious Organizations” as a tool to control and oppress all religious groups and churches.

2.      The selection and training of Catholic priests as well as their assignment are still under the strict control of the Religion Committee and public security office in charge of religious affairs.  Monks and clergies, especially the Protestant ministers working with Montagnard communities in the Central Highlands, are still being continually followed and obstructed even when performing religious services.

3.      Each religion is “encouraged” by the government to form a “religion committee” to be put under constant supervision and control of the Fatherland Front (Mat Tran To Quoc) which ‘coordinates religious activities in accordance with the regime’s political policy.’  As a result, there exist ‘state-controlled Buddhists’ and ‘state-controlled Catholics’ etc... who are submissive to the government’s beck and call?

4.      The Communist Party still finds ways to cause division and suspicion between religious leaders for the purpose of ‘divide and conquer.’  It also incites division and disagreement between Buddhists and Catholics.

5.      The issues of assets, properties and real estate belonging to religious organizations, especially schools, orphanages, and dispensaries etc… still cause strained relations between the government and religious faithful, especially Buddhists and Catholics. Recently, public security agents frequently used strong-arm tactics to suppress Catholics who peacefully demanded the return of the Church’s properties (the incidents at the former Apostolic Delegate's Office and Thai Ha Parish in Hanoi, Tam Toa Parish in Quang Binh, Loan Ly Parish in Thua Thien, The Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres' monastery in Vinh Long during 2008-2009), or the Buddhist monks and nuns who demanded freedom to pursue their practice (the case of the Bat Nha Temple in Lam Dong in 2009). 

 

IV. No Freedom of Speech, especially on the Internet

All media, print and electronic, are owned and managed by the state.  No privately owned newspapers or broadcasts are allowed; access to the Internet is restricted, firewalls are deployed to prevent people from accessing thousands of independent news accounts, both inside and outside the country; and international broadcasting, including Radio Free Asia, is jammed.  Journalists are often reminded of the ‘right sidewalk,’ meaning they should disseminate only information sanctioned by the government.  Numerous nonconformist journalists were arrested and fired from their jobs or sent to prison for providing accurate and objective information, or expressing their opinions, especially on such sensitive issues as China’s occupation of the Paracel and Spratly Archipelagoes, Chinese killing of Vietnamese fishermen in the South China Sea, and the mining of bauxite (conceded to China) in the Central Highlands.  Many dissenting bloggers and Internet users were arrested and sentenced to prison terms because of their opposing views and stands.

An Internet address that gathered thousands of supporters and millions of hits during the year was the bauxitevietnam.info site started by Professor Nguyen Hue Chi, Professor Nguyen The Hung and the journalist Pham Toan.  Unable to respond to the legitimate concerns raised by the site, the government in December used hackers to destroy the site together with other sites (such as the Germany-based talawas site) critical of the government or simply devoted to a balanced dialogue about Vietnam (for instance, the x-cafe, Doi Thoai and Saigon Bao sites).  At the same time, the government issued Decision 97, which prohibits publication of independent research that critiques or opposes the government’s line or party, and limits research by private organizations to 317 government-approved topics.  The Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Vietnam's one and only independent think-tank, headed by Professor Nguyen Quang A, closed in September in protest, one day before Decision 97 went into effect.

More than thirty journalists, bloggers, and Internet users have been arrested and imprisoned as a result of Article 88 of the 1999 Criminal Code.  Among those who were sentenced in 2009 are Mr. Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, Journalist Huy Duc, Mr. Bui Thanh Hieu (with penname Nguoi Buon Gio), Journalist Pham Doan Trang of the electronic journal VietnamNet, Journalist Nguyen Ngoc Quynh Nhu (with penname Me Nam), and Poet Tran Duc Thach… 

 

 V. No Freedom of Association, Union, and Assembly

The State still imposes strict control over all aspects of civil society.  It monopolizes the control of unions, women and youth organizations, which are put under the supervision and management of the Fatherland Front, a peripheral organization of the Communist Party.

Because of this policy, independent volunteer organizations such as the Boys Scouts, Buddhist Family (youth) organizations, and Catholic Youth Associations, etc… are not allowed to exist.  Workers are also forbidden to organize independent unions; and in recent years, organizers of the ‘United Peasant-Worker Association’ were arrested and imprisoned.

People who take part in any meeting (defined as involving more than five persons) are being followed, prevented, or severely reprimanded, especially for those on the blacklist.  The situation chokes off all initiatives of young people who eagerly wish to partake of the building and development of the country, especially in the areas of cultural and social activities. 

 

VI. Injustice in Land Policy

The eradication of private land ownership has caused innumerable unjustified misfortune and injustice to all segments of the population, especially to farmers in rural regions.  They are usually victims of greedy and corrupt cadres who take away the land without compensation or paying only nominal prices in compensation for site clearance under the guise of infrastructure planning and urban development, then turn around and resell it (at ten times the compensation prices or higher) to the highest bidders and pocket the profits.  This situation has obtained over many years but has gotten more and more egregious in recent years.  Victims are rarely if ever granted satisfactory solutions of redress.  Those who dare to defend the victims of land confiscation are brutally suppressed.

In most cases, the cadres in charge deliberately overestimate the needs of the community when drawing plans for infrastructure development such as roads, hydropower dams, industrial plants and luxurious golf courses.  Their intention is to take over as much land as possible, to appropriate the surplus, and to resell it to developers for the officials’ own interest.  This often happened to the most fertile land cultivated through generations of farmers, and has caused great damage to impoverished and powerless farmers who do not know where to turn to address their grievances.

Thousands of such ‘Victims of Injustice’ (Dan Oan) had no other resort than taking to the streets in Hanoi and Saigon to demand compensation for lands seized by authorities for ‘development purposes.’  They staged long-running protests outside public buildings, such as the National Assembly in Hanoi or other government offices, to denounce corruption and injustice against dispossessed farmers, and ask for fair compensation.

This tragic situation persists and gets worse through the years.  Despite their reasonable complaints, the victims of land injustice hardly ever received decent settlement, while human rights activists seeking to defend them have faced increased threats, arrest, and imprisonment for supposedly ‘inciting people to demonstrate and creating public unrest.’

The main reason of injustice and public unrest in rural areas, however, originates in the land rights stance of the Communist Party of Vietnam, which obstinately refuses to accept people’s property rights.   

                          

VII. Human Trafficking

 Human trafficking has become a serious social ill in Vietnam.  Victims mostly consisted of young women and even children (girls and sometimes even boys as young as 8 or 9) being tricked into crossing the borders of Cambodia and China to become prostitutes.  A great many other women were sold as ‘brides’ to Taiwan and Korea, where not a few were brutally mistreated and exploited as slave laborers.

These are poor and innocent rural women who desperately searched for an exit only to be duped into the traps.  Because these ‘match-making’ offices are run by government officials, who schemed with intermediaries to skim off as much as 70 to 80 percent of the monies supposed to go to the families of the ‘brides,’ the government therefore must be held responsible for this ‘modern-day slavery.’

Human trafficking is also involved in the case of so-called export laborers who were ‘helped’ to seek work overseas through cut-throat ‘commissions.’  Right now it is estimated that up to 500,000 Vietnamese guest laborers are working in more than 40 countries, with the top destinations being Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, the former Soviet Bloc countries and Middle East countries.  More and more ‘guest workers’ have found themselves exploited, abused and bankrupted.

 

 

ADDENDUM 

            As our report was going to press, Hanoi staged a series of trials in Haiphong (January 18, 2010), Hanoi (January 19), Ho Chi Minh City (January 21), then again in Hanoi (January 27) and Haiphong (January 29), in which it deliberately sought to demonstrate its heavy hand in repressing dissent by:

            Rejecting the appeal for lighter sentences of Messrs. Pham Van Troi (4 years in jail followed by 4 years of house arrest), Tran Duc Thach (3/3)[1], Vu Hung (3/3), Nguyen Xuan Nghia (6/3), Ngo Quynh (3/3), Nguyen Van Tuc (4/3), Nguyen Manh Son (3½/3), Nguyen Van Tinh (3½/3), Nguyen Kim Nhan (2/2), Tran Anh Kim (5½/3).

            Imposing harsh sentences on Attorney Le Cong Dinh (5 years in jail followed by 3 years of house arrest), Mr. Nguyen Tien Trung (7/3), and two IT experts, Mr. Le Thang Long (5/3) and especially Mr. Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, who received the stiffest sentence (16/5) simply because he refused to admit to any crime.

            Sentencing the writer Tran Khai Thanh Thuy in Hanoi to 3 ½ years in prison and her husband, Do Ba Tan, to 2 years of a suspended sentence to be followed by 3 years and 11 months of house arrest.

            Trying Ms. Pham Thanh Nghien in a closed trial in Haiphong (to which not even her mother was admitted) and sentencing her to 4 years in prison to be followed by 3 years of house arrest.

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS 

            In view of the above, the Vietnam Human Rights Network would like to recommend:           

            1/  That the Socialist Republic of Vietnam be confronted at the United Nations and other international forums with their blatant flouting of international human rights norms, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which it became a signatory in September 1982. 

2/ That the governments of developed countries, in their human rights dialogues with Hanoi, forcefully bring specific cases of human rights violations, and demand concrete resolutions before proceeding to other general matters. 

3/ That the Vietnamese in Diaspora make forceful representations in parliaments of their countries of resettlement and in the court of world public opinion about Hanoi’s lapses in this area, which qualify it as among the most egregious violators of human rights among civilized nations on earth. 

4/  That the U.S. State Department heed the call of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, many NGOs (among which Human Rights Watch, Freedom House and Amnesty International), and many legislators on Capitol Hill to put Vietnam back on the List of Countries of Particular Concern, the so-called CPC List. 

            5/  That the Vietnam Human Rights Act, especially S.1159, introduced on May 1, 2009, by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), be brought to a vote in the U.S. Senate so that it could become law in consonance with the House of Representatives, which has on three occasions overwhelmingly passed its versions of a similar bill.

 

 

 

APPENDIX

 

PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE IN VIETNAM 2

 

(As of March 2010) 

 

1.      Doan Van Dien:  Born 1954, member of the Alliance of Workers and Farmers (AWF), arrested on 11/05/2006, sentenced on 12/10/2007 to 4 years and 6 months in prison, currently imprisoned in Dong Nai Province.

2.      Duong Thi Tron:  Born 1947, member of the Hoa Hao Buddhist Church, arrested on 10/02/2006 in Dong Thap Province, sentenced on 5/03/2007 to 4 years in prison, currently imprisoned in Dong Nai Province.

3.      Hang Tan Phat:  Born 1984, arsted on 9/23/2005, sentenced on 1/29/2008 to 6 years in prison, currently imprisoned in camp Z30A, Xuan Truong Village, Xuan Loc District, Dong Nai Province.

4.      Le Cong Dinh:  Born 1968, former vice president of the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association 2005-2008, was among a few attorneys willing to defend many of the above political dissidents in court, until he himself was arrested on 6/13/2009, tried on 1/20/2010 in Ho Chi Minh City and sentenced to 5 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest, unknown prison location.

5.      Le Nguyen Sang:  Born 1959, medical doctor, leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), arrested on 8/14//2006 in Saigon, sentenced on 8/17/2007 to 4 years in prison, currently at prison camp Z30A, Xuan Truong Village, Xuan Loc District, Dong Nai Province.

6.      Le Thang Long: Born 1967, blogger, arrested in Ho Chi Minh City, arrested on 6/14/2009, sentenced on 1/20/2010 to 5 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest, unknown prison location.

7.      Le Thi Cong Nhan:  Born 1979, attorney and representative of the Vietnam Progression Party (VNPP) (Đảng Thăng Tiến Việt Nam), member of Vietnamese Human Rights Committee,  arrested on 3/6/2007 in Hanoi, sentenced on 11/27/2007 to 3 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest, released on 3/06/2010, currently under house arrest.

8.      Le Van Soc:  Born 1956, Hoa Hao Buddhusm follower in Vinh Long Province, arrested on 11/0 4//2006 in Dong Thap Province, sentenced on 5/03/2007 to 6 years in prison.

9.      Ngo Quynh:  Born 1984, student activist, arrested in Hai Phong on 10/01/2008, sentenced on 10/09/2009 to 3 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest, currently at camp B14, Thanh Liet Prison, Hanoi. 

10.  Nguyen Bac Truyen:  Born 1968, lawyer, member of the The People's Democratic Party of Viet Nam (Đảng Dân Chủ Nhân Dân), arrested on 8/14/2006 in Saigon and sentenced on 8/17/2007 to 3 years and 6 months in prison, currently at prison camp Z30A, Xuan Truong Village, Xuan Loc District, Dong Nai Province.

11.  Nguyen Binh Thanh:  Born 1955, electrician, member of the Vietnam Party for Progress (Đảng Thăng Tiến), arrested on 2/17/2007 in the city of Hue, sentenced on 3/30/2007 to 5 years in prison and 2 years of house arrest, currently imprisoned in Nam Ha Province.

12.  Nguyen Kim Nhan:  Born 1949, a representative of land protesters from Bac Giang Province, arrested on 9/25/2008, sentenced on 10/09/2009 to 2 years in prison and 2 years of house arrest, currently at Thanh Liet Prison, Thanh Tri, Hanoi.

13.  Nguyen Manh Son:  Born 1943, retired cadre, arrested on 5/8/2009 in Hai Phong, sentenced on 10/9/2009 to 3 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest, currently at Thanh Liet Prison, Thanh Tri, Hanoi.

14.  Nguyen Phong:  Born 1975, chairman of the Party for the Progress of Vietnam (PPV), arrested on 2/17/2007 in the city of Hue, sentenced on 3/30/2007 to 6 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest, currently imprisoned in Thanh Hoa Province.

15.  Nguyen Tien Trung:  Born 1983, member of the Democratic Party of Vietnam (DPV), arrested on 7/7/2009 in Saigon, tried on 1/21/2010 and given 7 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest, unknown prison location.

16.  Nguyen Van Dai:  Born 1969, attorney and founder of the Vietnam Human Rights Committee, arrested on 3/6/2007 in Hanoi, sentenced on 11/27/2007 to 4 years in prison and 4 years of house arrest, prison camp K1, Ba Sao Village, Kim Bang District, Ha nam Province.

17.  22. Nguyen Van Hai (Dieu Cay): Born 1952,  blogger and journalist, founding member of the Association of Free Journalists, arrested in Saigon on 4/20/2008, sentenced on 9/10//2008 to 2 years and 6 months in prison, now in Chi Hoa Prison in Saigon.

18.  Reverend Nguyen Van Ly:  Born 1946, Catholic priest, founding member of the Party for Progress of Vietnam, arrested on 2/18/2007 at his home parish in Thua Thien Province.  On 3/30/2007, sentenced to 8 years in prison and 5 years of house arrest.  After two and a half years as a prisoner in Ha Nam Province, Rev. Ly suffered a major stroke in November 2009, and was brought to Hanoi for urgent care.  Although not yet fully recovered, he has been sent back to Ba Sao Prison in Nam Ha Province where his health is reported to fast deteriorate in recent months.

19.  Nguyen Van Ngoc:  Born 1959, businessman, arrested in Saigon on 2/28/2007, sentenced on 12/11/2007 to 4 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest.

20.  Nguyen Van Tho:  Born 1939, Hoa Hao Buddhism follower, arrested on 10/02/2006 in Dong Thap Province, sentenced on 5/3/2007 to 6 years in prison.

21.  Nguyen Van Thuy:  Hoa Hao Buddhism follwer, arrested on 4/22/2006 in Dong Thap Province, sentenced on 5/03/2007 to 5 years in prison.

22.  Nguyen Van Tinh:  Born 1942, staff writer for the dissident newsletter To Quoc (Motherland), arrested in Hai Phong on 9/24/2008, sentenced on 10/09/2009 to 3 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest, currently at Thanh Liet Prison, Thanh tri, Hanoi.

23.  Nguyen Van Tuc:  Born 1964, land protester from Thai Binh Province, arrested in Hai Phong on 9/10/2008, sentenced on 10/09/2009 to 4 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest, currently at prison camp B14, Thanh Liet, Thanh Tri, Hanoi.    

24.  Nguyen Xuan Nghia: Born 1949, writer, representative of the 8406 Movement, arrested on 9/10/2008 in the city of Hai Phong, sentenced on 10/09/2009 to 6 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest, currently at Thanh Liet Prison, Thanh Tri, Hanoi.

25.  Pham Ba Hai:  Born 1968, arrested in Saigon on 9/072006, sentenced on 8/8/2008 to 5 years in prison and 2 years of house arrest, currently at prison camp Z30A, Xuan Truong Village, Xuan Loc District, Dong Nai Province.

26.  Pham Thanh Nghien:  Born 1977, arrested on 9/18/2008 in Hai Phong, held at Thanh Liet Prison, Hanoi, and tried in a closed trial on 1/ 29/2010 where she was sentenced to 4 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest, currently at prison camp B14, Thanh Liet, Thanh Tri, Hanoi.

27.  Pham Van Troi: Born 1972, engineer, member of the Vietnam Human Right Committee, arrested in Hanoi on 9/10/2008, sentenced on 10/082009 to 4 years in prison and 4 years of house arrest, currently at prison camp B14, Thanh Liet, Thanh tri, outside of Hanoi.

28.  Phung Quang Quyen: Born 1956, member of “For the People Party, arrested on 8/30/2009, currently imprisoned in detention centers B-34 Department of Public Security at 237 Nguyen Van Cu Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, not yet tried.

29.  Thich Quang Do: Born 1928, , Buddhist leader, Patriarch of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, arrested in Ho Chi Minh City in April 1977, tried on 12/08//1978 and released, rearrested on 02/25/1982 and exiled to home village of Vu Doai, returned on his own in March 1992 to Saigon, arrested for the third time on 01/04/1995 for writing a 44-page document detailing the persecution of the UBCV at the hands of the communist government, tried on 8/15/1995 to 5 years in prison, released on 8/30/1998, formally placed under house (i.e. temple) arrest since June 2001 at Thanh Minh Zen Monastery.

30.  Tran Anh Kim:  Born 1949, former officer of the People’s Army, member of the DPV, arrested on 7/7/2009, tried in Thai Binh  on 1/18/2010 and sentenced to 5½ years in prison and 3 years of house arrest, currently at prison camp B14, Thanh Liet, Thanh Tri, Hanoi.

31.  Tran Duc Thach:  Born 1952, poet, arrested on 9/10/2008, sentenced on 10/06/2009 to 3 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest, currently at Hoa Lo Prison, Hanoi.

32.  Tran Huynh DuyThuc: Born 1966, Internet entrepreneur and blogger, arrested in Ho Chi Minh City on 5/24/2009, sentenced on 1/20/2010 to 16 years in prison and 5 years of house arrest, unknown prison location.

33.  Tran Khai Thanh Thuy:  Born 1960, dissident writer, arrested on 8/10/2009, tried in Hanoi on 1/27/2010 and sentenced to 3½ years in prison. 

34.  Tran Quoc Hien:  Born 1965, attorney, spokeperson for the United Workers-Farmers Organization of Viet Nam (Hiệp hội đoàn kết công nông Việt Nam), arrested in Saigon on 1/12/2007, sentenced on 5/15/2007 to 5 years in prison and 2 years of house arrest, currently imprisoned at prison camp Z30A, Xuan Truong Village, Xuan Loc District, Dong Nai Province.

35.  Tran Thi Le Hong:  Born 1959, member of the United Workers-Farmers Organization of Viet Nam (Hiệp hội đoàn kết công nông Việt Nam), arrested on  11/15/2006 and sentenced on 12/10/2007 to 3 years in prison, currently at prison camp B5, Dong Nai Province.

36.  Trinh Quoc Thao:  Born 1956, arrested on 2/28/2007 and sentenced on 12/11/2007 to 2 years in prison and 2 years of house arrest, prison term completed and currently on house arrest.

37.  Truong Minh Duc:  Born 1960, journalist and member of the People’s Action Party, arrested on 5/05/2007 in Kien Giang Province, sentenced on 7/18/2008 to 5 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest, currently at prison camp Z30A, Xuan Truong Village, Xuan Loc District, Dong Nai Province.

38.  Truong Minh Nguyet: Born 1946, engineer, member of the Association of Political and Religious Prisoners (Hội Ái Hữu Tù Nhân Chính Trị & Tôn Giáo), arrested on 6/4/2007 in Saigon, sentenced on 12/11/2007 to 4 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest.

39.  Truong Quoc Huy:  Born 1980, arrested in Saigon on 8/18/2006, sentenced on 1/29/2008 to 6 years in prison, currently at prison camp Z30A, Xuan Truong Village, Xuan Loc District, Dong Nai Province.

40.  Vu Hung:  Born 1966, arrested on 9/18/2008, sentenced in Hanoi on 10/07/2009 to 3 years in prison and 3 years of house arrest, currently at prison camp B14, Thanh Liet, Hanoi.


 

1 This formula should read as 3 years in prison followed by 3 years of house arrest.

2 This list represents only a small fraction of prisoners of conscience being held in Vietnam. A great number of prisoners have been detained without trial, especially followers of unrecognized churches and religious movements in the Central Highlands and the Mekong Delta.

 

 

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