Posted 2011/10/10

Vietnam: Update – Front Line Defenders informed of the locations of detained human rights defenders

On 29 September 2011, Front Line Defenders was informed through local contacts of the locations of eight human rights defenders who were arrested by police officers and officials of the Ministry of Public Security between 30 July and 16 August 2011. Initially, they had been held incommunicado at an unknown location.

Further Information

The eight human rights defenders are affiliated with the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer and have been active in the promotion and protection of economic, social, and cultural rights in Vietnam. According to the information received, six out of eight human rights defenders were charged with attempting to overthrow the government under Article 79 of the Vietnamese Penal Code. The maximum penalty under this article is the death penalty.

Mr Ho Van Oah is charged with Article 79 of the Vietnam Penal Code. He is being detained at 237 Nguyen Van Cu, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Messrs Nguyen Van Duyet, Paulus Le Van Son, Dang Xuan Dieu, Ho Duc Hoa, and Nguyen Van Oai are charged with Article 79. They are being detained at Detention Center B14, Hanoi.

Messrs Peter Tran Hu Duc and Dau Van Duong have not formally been charged, but are being detained at Nghi Kim prison, Nghe An.

Front Line Defenders also learnt that their families have tried to visit them in prisons several times but were not allowed to. We reiterate our calls for the Vietnamese authorities to immediately release the human rights defenders, drop all charges brought against them, and to guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Vietnam are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all undue restrictions including judicial harassment.

Please see the original urgent appeal issued on 30 August 2011.