Vietnamese Religious Activist Hua Phi under Critical Health Condition after Being Interrogated by Police

Defend the Defenders, February 4, 2018

Sub-dignitary Hua Phi, Chair of Representative Committee of the Popular Bloc of Cao Dai Church and a member of the unsanctioned Inter-Faith Council of Vietnam, has fallen in a critical health condition after being interrogated by authorities in Vietnam’s Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, Defend the Defenders has learned.

Currently, Mr. Hua Phi has paralyzed left leg which may be caused by a brain blood stroke, informed other members of the Inter-Faith Council of Vietnam, a coalition of clergies of many independent religious groups in the communist nation.

His health has been worsened after consecutive interrogations of Lam Dong police on January 12-28 about his interviews to foreign outlets, meetings with international delegations on religious freedom as well as his writings criticizing Vietnam’s government policies on a number of issues.

He has been summoned to a communal headquarters in which police officers questioned him for hours, other activists said.

Due to police’s pressure, he was said to collapse many times while his blood pressure jumped over 210 from 120.

As his health worsened, police took him to his private residence by a taxi but sent officers to his house to ask him to go to a local police station for interrogation. Police have also not allowed his family to take him to a hospital for urgent treatment.

Lam Dong authorities have also sent police to station near his house to prevent other members of the Inter-Faith Council of Vietnam to come to visit him.

Mr. Hua Phi has been under close police surveillance. In November last year, he was placed under house arrest when Vietnam hosted the APEC Summit in a bid to prevent him from informing international delegates about abuses of religious freedom and human rights. Many world leaders, including US President Donald Trump attended the event to work to promote economic cooperation between countries in Asia-Pacific region.