Convicted Pro-democracy Activist Nguyen Ngoc Anh to Go Appeal on November 7


Defend the Defenders, October 21, 2019

Jailed pro-democracy activist Nguyen Ngoc Anh, who has been convicted of “conducting anti-state propaganda” under Article 117 of the Criminal Code, will go appeal on November 7, according to his lawyer Dang Dinh Manh.

According to the Saigon-based attorney, the appeal will be carried out by the Higher People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City in the headquarters of the People’s Court of Ben Tre province, which sentenced him to six years in prison and five years of probation in the first-instance hearing on June 6 this year.

The appeal was finally fixed after authorities in Ben Tre province failed to ask him to deny his right of challenging the decision of the province-level court to the higher court. However, it would be very difficult for him and his lawyers to have positive results, that for his immediate release or get the sentence reduced given the fact that the ruling communist regime tightly controls the court system.

In recent days, the local authorities are increasing pressure on his wife who is taking care of their child. The local police are summoning her to the communal police station for questioning but she refused to obey by.

Mr. Anh, 39, is a shrimp grower in Binh Dai district, Ben Tre province. He was arrested on August 30 last year. He was accused of posting numerous articles and live streams on his Facebook account Nguyễn Ngọc Ánh in which he speaks out about human rights violations, systemic environmental pollution, bad economic management of Vietnam’s communist government, China’s violations of the country’s sovereignty in the East Sea (South China Sea) and Vietnam’s weak response.

In late September, he was beaten by a criminal inmate who was likely acting on behalf of the authorities of Ben Tre province. Due to the assault, Mr. Anh suffered serious injuries in his right leg, left arm and head, and he feels difficulty in moving. Later, he was placed in an isolated cell where he has no support from other prisoners but serves himself.