Five Lawyers Call on Vietnam’s Government to Provide Proper Treatment for Jailed Prisoner of Conscience Tran Hoang Phuc

Young activist Tran Hoang Phuc

Defend the Defenders, May 17, 2018

Five Vietnamese lawyers have issued a joint statement calling on the authorities to provide proper medical treatment for jailed prisoner of conscience Tran Hoang Phuc.

Mr. Phuc, 24, who was sentenced to six years in prison and four years of probation by the Hanoi People’s Court in his first-instance hearing on allegation of “conducting anti-state propaganda” under Article 88 of the 1999 Penal Code on March 31 this year, is suffering from hepatitis C.

Phucneeds special and timely treatment for his disease, otherwise his disease may develop into cirrhosis and liver cancer, said lawyers Trinh Vinh Phuc, Nguyen Van Mieng, Dang Dinh Manh, Doan Thai Duyen Hai and Le Van Luan. All of them are lawyers defending for Phuc and Vu Quang Thuan and Nguyen Van Dien in the same case.

Vietnam’s authorities have yet to respond to the lawyers’ call.

Currently, Phuc is held in the Temporary Detention Facility No. 1 under the authority of the Hanoi Police Department. He has appealed the court’s decision taken on March 31. His appeal hearing is expected to be held in coming weeks.

Phuc has not been allowed to meet with his family since being arrested on June 29, 2017. His mother was not allowed to attend his trial which was open for public.

His mother said authorities in Hanoi have denied him from receiving medical drugs sent by his mother, saying there was no prescription made from public medical facility while the mother confirmed that she supplies the drugs according to the prescription given by a private hospital where he made a medical check-up before being arrested.

Phuc was convicted for assisting Vu Quang Thuan and Nguyen Van Dien in posting their three video clips on their Facebook accounts and Youtube which were considered by Vietnam’s authorities as “untrue” and defame the government.

The arrest and detention of the trio are part of Vietnam’s ongoing crackdown on local dissent. Since early 2017, Vietnam has arrested and convicted nearly 50 activists, many of them were sentenced to between three and 16 years in prison.

The conditions in Vietnam’s prisons are severe, especially for political prisoners. Prisoners have been left without adequate food and proper medical treatment along with being placed in incommunicado and isolated cells as well as torture and other ill-treatments.

For more information on Mr. Phuc’s case, go to archive on our website: http://www.vietnamhumanrightsdefenders.net/defenders-weekly/?post=tran-hoang-phuc