Prisoners of Conscience Nguyen Viet Dung, Phan Kim Khanh Placed in Solitary Cells

Mr. Nguyen Viet Dung (left) and Phan Kim Khanh


Defend the Defenders, January 29, 2020


Authorities in Ba Sao Prison camp have reportedly disciplined two prisoners of conscience Nguyen Viet Dung and Phan Kim Khanh, placing them in solitary cells because they are refusing to confess and disobeying the prison’s rules.

Mr. Dung’s mother has told the Radio Free Asia (RFA) that he is disciplined because he refuses to work in prison. Dung has confirmed that he is innocent so he has no duty to work while serving his six-year sentence.

His family said his family sent him some money but the prison’s authorities keep and have not handed over to him so he cannot buy additional food from the prison’s canteen which sells goods at prices much higher than the market prices.

Dung, who established the Republican Party, was arrested in 2017 for the second time and charged with “conducting anti-state propaganda” under Article 88 of the Penal Code 1999. He was sentenced to seven years in prison. In the appeal hearing, his sentence was reduced to six years.

Meanwhile, Mr. Khanh, who was sentenced to six years in jail for the same allegation, was placed in a solitary cell for objecting to the prison’s rules, Project 88 said without giving details.

Mr. Khanh, who is among 12 imprisoned journalists in Vietnam according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, was arrested on March 21, 2017 for running two websites Chống Tham Nhũng (Anti-corruption) and Tuần Việt Nam (Vietnam Weekly). His appeal against the conviction of the People’s Court of Thai Nguyen in the trial on October 25, 2017 has not been respected. It is likely Ba Sao Prison camp has been keeping his appeal letter which should be sent to the Supreme People’s Court.

Dung and Khanh, together with other prisoners of conscience held in Ba Sao Prison camp, have reportedly conducted a number of hunder strikes in recent years to protest inhumane treatment and persecution against prisoners of conscience.

Both Dung and Khanh are among 241 prisoners of conscience, according to the latest statistics of Defend the Defenders.