Vietnam Human Rights Defenders’ Weekly Report for May 21-27, 2018: Many Activists under House Arrest on Sunday after Call for Anti-China Protest

 

Defend the Defenders | May 27, 2018

 

On May 27, manyactivistsnationwide were placed under house arrest after a call by an activist for peaceful demonstrations to protest China’s violations of the country’s sovereignty in the East Sea (South China Sea).

Many activists complained that authorities in their localities deployed plainclothes agents and militia to station near their private residences from the evening of Saturday or the early morning of Sunday in a bid to prevent them from going out. Some activists were only allowed to go out under close police surveillance.

The Supreme People’s Court has decided to hold the appeal hearing for four senior members of the Brotherhood for Democracy on June 4. The appeal hearing will be carried out by the Higher People’s Court in Hanoi, two months after the People’s Court of Hanoi found Nguyen Van Dai, Nguyen Trung Ton, Nguyen Bac Truyen, Truong Minh Duc, Pham Van Troi and Le Thu Ha guilty of subversion and sentenced them to a total 66 years in prison and 17 years under house arrest. Mr. Dai and Ms. Ha who were given 15 years and nine years in prison, respectively, were reported not to challenge the court’s decisions in their first-instance hearing.

Meanwhile, Ms. Ha’s mental health is in question,with stranger behaviors, said her mother after the lastest visit on May 25.

Police in Ho Chi Minh City have decided to extend the investigation against pro-democracy activist Luu Van Vinh to two additional months until July 13, 2018, increasinghis pre-trial detention to at least 21 months from his arrest in November 2016. His arrest and detention were considered arbitrary by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention which calls on Vietnam’s authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally.

Former political prisoner Nguyen Xuan Nghia said security forces twice tried to trap him in order to arresthimduring the week. First, on May 23, they sent a man with three copies of a sensitive book Politics for Allto his private house with the aim to arrest the pro-democracy activist for storing and selling banned products. In the second attempt, police sent an older man to him and requestedhim to make a copy of an ID card with changed the birth day of the holder. Police would have detainedhim if he hadagreedwith the proposal.

On May 24, the People’s Court of An Giang upheld the sentences of six Hoa Hao Buddhist followers namely Bui Van Trung and his son Bui Van Tham and his wife Le Thi Hen, Nguyen Hoang Nam, Bui Thi Bich Tuyen, andLe Hong Hanh. On February 9, the People’s Court of An Phu district sentenced them to a total 22 years in prison and two years of probation for exercising the right to freedom of religion and belief.

Vietnam’s authorities have yet to allow jailed human rights activist Tran Thi Nga to meet with her family, including her two kids of seven years and five years old, since her arrest in February last year. She has not been permitted to write letters or make a call to her family because she refuses to admit wrongdoings even after being convicted of “conducting anti-state propaganda” under Article 88 of the 1999 Penal Code and sentenced to nine years in prison and five years under house arrest afterward.

===== May 21 =====

Vietnam Extends Investigation against Pro-democracy Luu Van Vinh to Mid-July

 Defend the Defenders: Authorities in Vietnam’s southern economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City have extended the investigation period against human rights activist and democracy campaigner Luu Van Vinh for two additional months until July 13, his wife Le Thi Thap told Defend the Defenders.

Mrs. Thap told Defend the Defenders that in March, the People’s Court of HCM City requested additional investigation in the case after receiving a proposal of the city’s police to prosecute him. The case was transferred to the city’s People’s Procuracy which frozethe case for two months before returning it to the city’s police in May.

With the newest move of the HCM City’s Department of Public Security, Mr. Vinh’s detention period will rise to 21 months from his arrest in November 6, 2018, said the wife after her visit last week to Chi Hoa temporary detention facility under the authority of the city’s police.

Mr. Vinh, who was arrested under the allegation of “carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration” under Article 79 of the country’s 1999 Penal Code, was held incommunicado for one year, including five months in Phan Dang Luu temporary detention facility before being transferred to Chi Hoa facility.

He has been allowed to meet with his family sinceNovember last year. However, he is not permitted to get eye glasses and medicinefrom his wife, she said.

Mr. Vinh’sarrest was said to be linked to the Coalition for Self-determined Vietnamese People. Mr. Vinh founded the coalition in mid-July last year and became the president of the organization which aims to end the communists’ political monopoly. All major issues of the country should be decided by the people via referendums, according to its founding statement.However, Vinh was reported to have left the coalition a few days before being detained.

After Vinh’s detention, Amnesty International issued a statement calling on Vietnam’s government to immediately and unconditionally release him and his friend NguyenVan Duc Do and Buddhist monk Phan Trung.

Recently, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued a statementsaying the arrest and detention of Mr. Vinh are arbitrary, and urges Vietnam’s government to release him immediately and unconditionally.

The arrests of Vinh and other activists are part of Vietnam’s intensifying crackdown against local politicaldissidents, social activists and human rights defenders amid increasing public awareness about the country’s socio-economic problems, including systemic corruption and widespread environmental pollution.More than 50 activists have been arrested and convicted on allegations of provisions in national security of the Penal Code in the past few years. Many of them have been sentenced to lengthy imprisonments of up to 16 years in prison.

Vietnam has sought to arrest other activists, especially senior members of the online group Brotherhood for Democracy.

For more information onMr. Vinh’s case, see here.

===== May 22 =====

Activist Tran Thuy Nga Yet to Be Allowed to Meet with Her Family Since Being Arrested 15 Months Ago

Defend the Defenders: Vietnam’s authorities have yet to allow prisoner of conscience Tran Thuy Nga to meet with her family, including her two kids of seven and five years old, since being arrested in February 2017.

Currently, Ms. Nga is held in Gia Trung camp in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai under the authority of the Ministry of Public Security.

She is not permitted to contact her family,as other prisoners are permitted,because she refuses to admit her wrongdoings, said Mr. Phan Van Phong, the father of Ms. Nga’s two kids, adding other prisoners are allowed to write and receive letters from their families and make a 5-minute call to their relatives every month.

In March this year, authorities transferred Nga to Gia Trung, about 1,200 km from her native city of Phu Ly, without informing her family, Mr. Phong said. In late March, Phong and their two kids went to the camp to seek to meet her but the prison’s authorities denied.

Ms. Nga was arrested on February 21, 2017 on allegation of “conducting anti-state propaganda” under Article 88 of the country’s 1999 Penal Code. In late July last year, the People’s Court of Ha Nam sentenced her to nine years in prison and five years under house arrest afterward and in late 2017, the Hanoi High People’s Court upheld the sentence.

Ms. Nga was a migrant worker in Taiwan. While working there, she assisted Vietnamese workers to demand Vietnamese brokers to take responsibility to ensure the rights of migrant workers.

Upon her return to Vietnam, about ten years ago, she assisted land petitioners who had lost their land due to illegal seizure from local authorities.

She also participated in many anti-China demonstrations in Hanoi from 2011 to 2016 to protest China’s violations of Vietnam’s sovereignty in the East Sea (South China Sea), as well as in peaceful gatherings to demand multi-party democracy and on environmental issues.

Due to her activities, Vietnam’s communist government, particularly authorities in Ha Nam province constantly harassed and persecuted her and her two children. She was detained many times and placed under de facto house arrest for most of the last two years.

In May 2014, she was attacked by plainclothes agents in Hanoi who broke her right leg and caused a number of severe injuries.

Police in Ha Nam also targeted her kids, throwing a dirty mixture containing decaying shrimp at them. Her private residence in Phu Ly city was attacked with paint and dirty substances many times.

Despite government intimidation and assault, Nga has continued to speak out against political injustices and broader state violence. She is part of a growing community of Vietnamese bloggers using Facebook and YouTube to foster political activism and solidarity, many of whom have been detained under vague national security laws as part of the government’s ongoing crackdown on free speech.

Ms. Nga is among six distinguished women human rights activists in Southeast Asia the human rights NGO Amnesty International recognized their work on the occasion of International Women’s Day (March 8) this year. Nga, Sirikan Charoensiri from Thailand, Maria Chin Abdullah from Malaysia, Tep Vanny from Cambodia, Leila de Lima from Philippines and Wai Wai Nu from Myanmar have faced harassment, threats, imprisonment, and violence for standing up for human rights in the region.

After her arrest, many foreign democratic governments and a number of international human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Reporters Without Borders called on Vietnam’s communist government to immediately and unconditionally release her and other activists who have been imprisoned just because of exercising the right of freedom of expression which is enshrined in the country’s 2013 Constitution.

The arrest and conviction of Nga is part of Vietnam’s ongoing crackdown on local dissidents, human rights defenders, social activists, and online bloggers.

Vietnam has little tolerance for government critics. According to Human Rights Watch, the communist government holds over 100 political prisoners while the Now!Campaign, an initiative by BPSOS, Civil Rights Defenders, Defend the Defenders, and 13 other partners, said Vietnam is holding 168 prisoners of conscience.

Transfer to locations far from the family and the denial of medical treatment are measures frequently used by the Vietnamese communist government to punish prisoners of conscience who refuse to make confessions during trials or while servingtheir sentences.

===== May 23 =====

Former Prisoner of Conscience Nguyen Xuan Nghia Detained, Interrogated for Sensitive Book

Defend the Defenders: On May 23, authorities in Vietnam’s northern city of Haiphong detained former prisoner of conscience Nguyen Xuan Nghia and interrogated him for over six hours about a sensitive political book.

Mr. Nghia, a writer who spent six years in prison in 2008-2013 on allegation of “conducting anti-state propaganda” under Article 88 of the Penal Code, said he was questioned about the book Politics for Allbyprominent dissident journalist Pham Doan Trang, who has herself faced ongoing harassment since a meeting with the EU delegation last year.

Around 11 AM Wednesday, an unknown mancame to Mr. Nghia’s private residence in Haiphong, with three copies of Politics for All. He said he wantedto donate two copies for the writer so Mr. Nghia couldsell them to get money to support prisoners of conscience, and asked the writer to explain some terminologies in the book. Immediately, police came and detained the activist, taking him to a city’s police station.

The interrogation team included officers from the Ministry of Public Security and local police, Mr. Nghia said after returning home at 5:30 PM the same day. They tried to accuse him of storing and selling “toxic products” as the guest claimed with police that the books belongedto the activist and he came to buy one copy from the writer.

Reaffirming that the book is not his, Mr. Nghia used his right to silence as well as refused to sign the official police interviewtranscript, he told Defend the Defenders.

Mr. Nghia, who joined the Brotherhood for Democracy for two months last year, was summoned to the police station for ten days in November 2017 to clarify his membership to the pro-democracy online group. He narrowly escaped prosecution as the group is the main target of the government ongoing crackdown on local dissent, with ten senior members havingbeen convicted on subversion.

Politics for Allis the latest book of dissident journalist Pham Doan Trang. After the bookwascirculated across Vietnam, Trang was kidnapped and interrogated by security forces for several days.

Three years ago, Mr. Nghia was honored with the Freedom of Expression Prize bythe Norwegian Authors’ Union for his writings, which aim to promote multi-party democracy and human rights. His wife went to Oslo to receive the prize on his behalf as the recipient was not allowed to travel abroad during his four-year house arrest following the prison term.

For more information, see here.

===== May 24 =====

Vietnam Court Upholds Prison Sentences for Four Religious Activists

Defend the Defenders: On May 24, the People’s Court in Vietnam’s southern province of An Giang rejected the appeals of six local Hoa Hao Buddhist followers for their peaceful activities to exercise the right to freedom of religion and beliefs.

The court upheld the prison sentences given to Bui Van Trung and his son Bui Van Tham and his wife Le Thi Hen, Nguyen Hoang Nam, Bui Thi Bich Tuyen, andLe Hong Hanhby the lower court in their first-instance hearing on February 9 this year.

Three months ago, the lower court of An Giang found Trung and his son Tham guilty of  “causing public disorders” under Article 245 and “resisting persons in the performance of their official duties” under Article 257in the 1999 Penal Code and gave them six years in prison each. It also convicted the four othersof “causing public disorders” under Article 245, and gave four-yearimprisonment toNguyen Hoang Nam, three-year imprisonment to Bui Thi Bich Tuyen and Le Hong Hanh andtwo-year probation toLe Thi Hen.

Ms. Bui Thi Tham, the daughter of Mr. Trung and also wife of Mr. Nam, said during the hearing day, police blocked all roads leading to the court area to prevent Hoa Hao Buddhist followers from attending the appeal hearing. Relatives of the defendants hardly came to the courtroom.

The trial did not mean international fair trial standards,as “the judges let the witnesses talk a lot, and when the lawyers asked them questions, the judges told the witnesses not to answer them,” she said., adding her father considered the trial on February 6 was the act of An Giang province’s authorities violating the right to freedom of religions and beliefs.

The religious activists were arrested in late June 2017, two months after they protested persecution by local authorities who had sent police and thugs to block the private residence of Bui Van Trung in late April, not allowing other independent followers to gather in his house in An Phu district to attend the anniversary commemoration of Bui Van Trung’s mother’s death.

Trung and the sentenced activists are from an independent Hoa Hao Buddhist sect who refuse to practice their religion under the control of the state.

The arrests and convictions of the six activists are part of Vietnam’s crackdown on independent religious groups, including Hoa Hao and Cao Dai Buddhist sects in southern Vietnam.

On February 8this year, Human Rights Watch issued a statementcalling on Vietnam’s government to drop charges against the group and release them immediately and unconditionally.

“This appears to be the latest instance of official persecution of members of this religion,” said Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch. “The government should stop harassing and arresting those who belong to unsanctioned religious groups and leave people to practice their faith as they see fit,” he said.

===== May 25 =====

Appeal for Four Senior Members of BFD Set on June 4

Defend the Defenders: The Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam has decided to hold th appeal hearing of four senior members of the online group Brotherhood for Democracy (BFD) on June 4, Defend the Defenders has learned.

Speaking with Defend the Defenders, Mrs. Nguyen Kim Thanh, the wife of veteran journalist and labor activist Truong Minh Duc said she received the information from her husband’s lawyer.

The hearing will be conducted by the Higher People’s Court in Hanoi at the People’s Court of Hanoi.

The appeal hearing is scheduled for two months after the People’s Court of Hanoi convicted six senior members of the pro-democracy groups on allegation of “carrying out attempts to overthrow the people’s administration” under Article 79 of the 1999 Penal Code.

The court sentenced prominent human rights attorney Nguyen Van Dai to 15 years in prison and five years under house arrest, Protestant pastor Nguyen Trung Ton and labor activist Truong Minh Duc each to 12 years in prison and three years under house arrest, entrepreneur Nguyen Bac Truyen to 11 years in jail and three years of probation, English teacher Le Thu Ha to nine years in prison and three years under house arrest, and engineer Pham Van Troi to seven years in prison and one year under house arrest. Five men were former prisoners of conscience and co-founders of the group.

Four of the convicted namely Ton, Duc, Truyen and Troi have appealed the court’s decision. Mr. Dai and Ms. Ha are likely unwilling to appeal the court’s decision.

In their last words before the court announced their decision, the activists affirmed their innocence, saying their activities were peaceful and in line with the country’s 2013 Constitution and Vietnam’s commitments underinternational treaties, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Mr. Dai and his assistant Ms. Ha were arrested on December 16, 2015 while the four others were detained on July 30 last year.

Their arrests and convictions are part of Vietnam’s ongoing crackdown on local dissent, with more than 50 activists being arrested and charged with controversial articles in the national security provision in the Penal Code since early 2017.

Vietnam has also convicted other three senior members of the group namely Nguyen Van Tuc, Tran Thi Xuan and Vu Van Hung. The first two were convicted on subversion and sentenced to 13 years and nine years in jail, respectively,while the last was charged with “inflicting injuries” in a trumped-up political case and sentenced to one year in prison.

Nguyen Trung Truc, the spokesman of the organization, was arrested last year, also charged with subversion.

A number of BFD’s members have been forced to relocate within or outsside of the country to avoid being arrested, an activist told Defend the Defenders.

———————

Activist Nguyen Anh Tuan Detained, Interrogated About His Writing on Property Giant Vingroup

Defend the Defenders: Human rights defender and pro-democracy campaigner Nguyen Anh Tuan has been detained and interrogated about his writing on property giant Vingroup on his Facebook page.

Mr. Tuan, a permanent resident of the central city of Danang, said he was detained by security officers upon arriving in the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City in the early morning of May 25.

During the next 15 hours in a police station within the airport, he was interrogated consecutively by many security officers who themselves introduced as officers from the Department of Anti-reactionary, Terrorist Affairs (A67) under the Ministry of Public Security.

They repeatedly asked him where he would go and with whom he would meet with, with aim to make him tired, Tuan told Defend the Defenders.

Finally, a man who himself introduced as Vu came to meet with Tuan. It is likely Vu is the head of the A67’s Representative Office in the southern region, the activist said.

Affirming that he would do all to protect the communist regime, Vu threatened that if Tuan does not stop his activities, he will receive heavy consequences.

At the end of the meeting, Vu requested Tuan to delete his writing because it affects the national security. Specifically, Vu asked the activist to remove his recent articles about VinhGroup, a listed property giant with billionair Pham Nhat Vuong being its chairman. In these posts, Tuan wrote how VinGroup cooperates with state officials to grab public land at cheap prices, and Tuan used many facts from state media in his writing.

Tuan questioned the legality of Vu’s request but the security officer remained silent, saying unless Tuan removes his posts, security forces will use strong measures against him.

Before releasing Tuan, security officers confiscated his personal documents, including his passport and identification card. They explained that by this move, they can force him to go to another meeting with security officers in Hanoi.

Mr. Tuan is among well-known rights campaigners in Vietnam. He has participated in many events to advocate for human rights improvement, including Vietnam’s Universal Periodic Review in 2014.

Due to his activities, security forces once confiscated his passport when he returned from an advocacy trip abroad. However, recently, under international pressure, Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security was forced to grant him with the new passport and allow him to go abroad.

===== May 26 =====

Activists’ Excursion Troubled, One Detained for Sensitive T-shirt

Defend the Defenders: On May 26, a group of more than 20 activists from Ho Chi Minh City gathered in Lan Vuong tourism resort in Ben Tre city, however, their excursion was troubled by authorities of the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre.

When the group prepared to have their lunch, numerous police officers in uniform and plainclothes agents as well as militia came to disturb them.

Police detained former prisoner of conscience Tran Vu Anh Binh, accusing him of breaking regulations for probation as he has to serve his three years under house arrest after completing his six-year imprisonment for composing patriotic songs.

They also detained Vu Phong for wearing a T-shirt with a sign which protests the price increase of petrol products.

Police took the two activists to a police station, forcing Phong to take off his T-shirt and Binh to sign a report for breaking rules before releasing them.

Vietnam’s authorities are making all efforts to prevent local activists from gathering together for any reasons.

——————–

Vietnam Security Forces Likely Continue to Entrap Former Political Prisoner

 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.

===== May 27 =====

Many Vietnamese Activists Placed under House Arrest After Call for Peaceful Demonstrations 

Defend the Defenders: Authorities in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City,and other Vietnamese localities have been placing local activists de facto under house arrest on May 27 after an online call for peaceful demonstrations to protest China’s increasing aggressiveness in the East Sea (South China Sea).

Dozens of activists from Hanoi and HCM City reported that plainclothes agents and militia have posted near their private residences from the evening of Friday or early morning of Sunday in a bid to prevent them from going out.

Retired teacher Tran Thi Thao from Hanoi said she recognized a group of five or six under-covered policemen and militia staying near her apartment in the flat from very early onSunday. They werethe same group sent in other occasions when the local authorities wantedto lock her inside.

Blogger Nam Phuong from Hanoi did not know why she wasplaced under house arrest until reading the call of Mr. Linh on Facebook, the most popular social network in Vietnam with tens of millions of accounts.

In HCM City, blogger Nguyen Hoang Vi said plainclothes agents and militia were stationednear her apartment from the evening of Saturday.

Some activists were permitted to go shoping but under close surveillance.

Police surveillance has increased after pro-democracy activist Nguyen Trung Linh in Hanoi posted a call for peaceful demonstrations in citycenters in the morning of Sunday to protest China’s aggresive acts in the East Sea to solidify its illegal claim of nearly the entire resource-rich sea which is also very important for international trade.

In his statement posted on his Facebook account “Trung Lĩnh Nguyễn,”Mr. Linh also criticized the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam and its government for weak response to China’s violations of the country’s sovereignty in the East Sea.

Vietnam’s government does not welcome peaceful demonstrations which it cannot control. Protestors are facing criminal charges of “causing public disorders” or “resisting on-duty state officials” with potential punishments of years in jail.

Many activists who oppose China’s violations of the country’s sovereignty in the East Sea have been beaten, intimidated, arrested and imprisoned in the past few years.

——————–

Mental Health of Jailed Activist Le Thu Ha under Question: Mother

Defend the Defenders: The mental health of Le Thu Ha, who is serving her nine-year prisonsentenceon chargeof subversion, is of concern, said her mother.

Speaking with independent human rights activist Grace Bui after visiting her daughter on May 25, the mother said she is very worried about her daughter.

During the meeting, Ms. Ha was calmer than the previous meetings, the mother said, adding the jailed activist asked her younger sister to buy some decorative items for her which are strange for her character,as the mother knows her daughter.

Ha, 36, told her mother that she is planning to conduct a hunger strike but did not unveil specifics. She is very pale and skinny, the mother said.

Themother told Ms. Bui that she is allowed to supplysome food forher daughter duringvisits every month, however, she finds it extremely difficult because she hasno income. Her husband passed away and shehas to take care of everything.

Mrs. Nguyen Thi Lanh, the wife of imprisoned Protestant pastor Nguyen Trung Ton, told Ms. Buithat when she came to B14 detention facility to visit her husband, she met Ha there. According to Mrs. Lanh, “Ha had a nervous break down” and “Ha got very emotional and threw the chairs at the guards.”

Ms. Ha is an assistant of prominent human rights attorney Nguyen Van Dai, who co-founded the online group Brotherhood for Democracy. The duo werearrested on December 16, 2015 and charged with “conducting anti-state propaganda” under Article 88 of the 1999 Penal Code.

On July 30, 2017, after arresting four other senior members of the pro-democracy group namely Mr. Nguyen Trung Ton, Mr. Nguyen Bac Truyen, Mr. Pham Van Troi and Mr. Truong Minh Duc, Vietnam’s authorities charged the six activists with “carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration” under Article 79 of the 1999 Penal Code.

At the first-instance trial of the six activists on April 24 this year, the People’s Court of Hanoi gave them a total of 66 years in prison and 17 years under house arrest afterward. Mr. Ha was sentenced to nine years in prison and three years under house arrest.

While four activists have filled appeals and their appeal hearing was set on June 4, Mr. Nguyen Van Dai and Ms. Le Thu Ha reportedly accepted their sentences because they believe that Vietnam’s authorities will not change their decisions about their cases.

When Ha was arrested, her family kept very quiet.

Ms. Buishared that she filled complaints about the arrests and the detentions of Mr. Nguyen Van Dai, Ms. Le Thu Ha, Mr. Nguyen Trung Ton, Mr. Nguyen Bac Truyen, Mr. Pham Van Troi and Mr. Truong Minh Duc to the UNWorking Group on Arbitrary Detention. The Working Group is concerned about these cases, especially Ms. Ha’s, Bui said.

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