Vietnam Tightens Security Ahead APEC, Many Activist Interrogated, Others under House Arrest

Defend the Defenders, November 5, 2017

Authorities in many Vietnamese localities have been tightening security ahead of the APEC Summit, detaining many local activists for interrogation and placing others under house arrest, the victims have complained.

In Danang, where the summit is taking place on November 6-10, local security forces have summoned activists Khuc Thua Son and Lam Bui and others to local police stations for questioning for days.

In Ho Chi Minh City, police officers detained environmentalist Tran Quynh Nhu Uyen when she was riding with her motorbike. Police beat her and later took her to a police station for questioning. Several hours later, police took her back to the place where she was kidnapped. Uyen said police threatened her that they would kill her if she traveled alone.

In the central province of Nghe An, on November 3, police detained former prisoner of conscience Tran Duc Thanh and questioned him about the Brotherhood for Democracy. Thach, a member of the online pro-democracy group, has been under constant harassment of the local police.

In the southern province of Dong Nai, police summoned eleven Catholic followers of the Tho Hoa parish to question on relation with social orders.

Along with kidnaping, beating, and interrogating former prisoner of conscience Bui Thi Minh Hang, security forces in Hanoi have also been placing many local activists under de facto house arrest. Vu Quoc Ngu, chief executive officer of Defend the Defenders said police came to his private residence to seek for him. As the family told them that he was not at home, two policemen left. The security head of the Thanh Tri police also sought him by telephone.

Meanwhile, many international human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch and Civil Rights Defenders as well as many foreign intellectuals have urged Vietnam to release immediately and unconditionally all prisoners of conscience, and stop ongoing severe crackdown on political dissidents, human rights defenders, social activists and independent journalists.

Vietnam holds over 100 of prisoners of conscience, while Hanoi always denies this, saying it keeps only law violators behind bars.

Vietnam will host the APEC Summit in Danang on November 6-10, with participation from U.S. President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.