Joint Statement of a Coalition of Vietnamese Organizations at home and overseas  on January 30, 2023, about Recent Suspicious Deaths in Vietnamese Prisons


On January 5, 2023, Pastor Dinh Diem, a religious prisoner serving a 16-year sentence for the alleged crime of “Activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s government,” died suddenly at prison camp No. 6 in Thanh Chuong district, Nghe An province.

On November 20, 2022, Mr. Phan Van Thu, founder of An Dan Dai Dao, an independent Buddhist organization serving a life sentence for the same alleged crime, died in Gia Trung prison, Gia Lai province.

On August 2, 2022, a citizen journalist, Mr. Do Cong Duong, died while serving an 8-year sentence for allegedly “abusing democratic freedoms” and “disturbing public order” in prison camp No. 6, Nghe An province.

On November 10, 2019, former teacher Dao Quang Thuc died while serving a 13-year sentence for the charge of “Activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s government,” also at prison camp No. 6.

Also, in October 2019, Mr. Doan Dinh Nam, a religious prisoner of An Dan Dai Dao with a 16-year sentence, died in Xuyen Moc prison, Ba Ria-Vung Tau province.

Many prisoners and former prisoners have reported that forced labor, malnutrition, and lack of access to healthcare have affected their living conditions. As a result, their health declines rapidly. Many prisoners are also punished with harsh corporal measures.

On August 9, 2022, twenty-seven families of political and religious prisoners issued a joint open letter calling on international human rights organizations and free governments to urge the Vietnamese government to respect the prisoners of conscience’s rights to clean water, safe food, and timely medical care.

The continued mysterious deaths of religious and political prisoners reveal the inhumane treatment of Vietnamese communist prisons and serve as a wake-up call for violations of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners by the Vietnamese government.

We, the undersigned organizations, request the following:

  • The Vietnamese government must clarify the above cases of mysterious deaths, redress the victims’ families, and improve the conditions for the incarceration of prisoners in detention centers and prisons across the country.

  • Free and democratic governments worldwide with diplomatic and economic relations with Vietnam consistently bring up those human rights violations in their human rights dialogues with Hanoi and consider Vietnam’s human rights achievements a prerequisite for financial aid and economic investment projects.

  • International human rights organizations continue monitoring the human rights situation in Vietnam closely and firmly condemning cases of serious violations by the Vietnamese government.



Vietnam Human Rights Network

Defend the Defenders

Vietnam Democracy Federation

Vietnam Democracy Radio

Brotherhood for Democracy

The Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam

Bloc 8406



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