Vietnam Security Forces Likely Continue to Entrap Former Political Prisoner

Former political prisoner Nguyen Xuan Nghia


Defend the Defenders, May 26, 2018


Defend the Defenders: Vietnam’s security forces are notlikely tostop theireffortsto entrapformer political prisoner Nguyen Xuan Nghia after their failure on May 23, said the writer.

Mr. Nghia, who spent six years in prison in 2008-2013 for allegation of “conducting anti-state propaganda” under Article 88 of the 1999 Penal Code, said he narrowly escaped the second attempt of security forces to arrest him within three days.

While staying in his family’s photocopy shop in Haiphong City, he recognized a man coming with the identification card (ID) of a woman. The man requested the former prisoner of conscience to make a copy of the ID, but with achanged birth date.

The man explained that the woman is his wife and she needs a copy of herID for job recruitment. Because the employer wants to hire younger laborers she must submit anID copy with a younger age, the man noted.

However, Mr. Nghia refused the proposal, saying he cannot make a copy of her ID with a different birthdate, because the act would be a crime.

When the man appeared in his shop, Nghia recognized two under-covered police officers staying not far from his shop and ready to come if hehadagreedto do as requested.

As the former political prisoner denied, the man left the shop, along withthe two plainclothes agents.

On May 23, Nghia was interrogated for hours by police officers after a man hadcome to his private house with three copies of Politics for All, a sensitive book of prominent dissident writer Pham Doan Trang. The man said he would like to give two copies of the book to Mr. Nghia and asked him to explain some terminologies in the book. When Nghia received the book’s copies, a large number of police suddently appreared and tried to accuse him of storing and selling “banned book.”

Mr. Nghia, who joined the online group Brotherhood for Democracy for two months, was summoned to a police station for around ten days for interrogation about his political activities and his membership in the pro-democracy group. Police agreed not to prosecute him because he left the organization long time before Vietnam launched a campaign to crackdown the organization in late July 2017.

It is unclear why security forces have attempted to entraphim in recent days.

For more information about Mr. Nghia, visit our archive.