Blogger and his assistant in detention without trial
Vietnam, action created 30.11.2015, petition is active
Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh and his assistant Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy have been held in custody without trial since May 2014. The duration of the detention has exceeded the legally permitted period of time. They were accused of "abusing democratic freedoms" on political blogs. Nguyen Huu Vinh's family and lawyer are concerned with his health because of the bad condition in which he is being held.
Nguyen Huu Vinh in 2007 co-founded the popular blog Anh Ba Sam, who is known for his anti-Chinese articles and criticism of the government. He and his assistant, Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy, were arrested in May 2014 pursuant to Article 258 (2) of the Criminal Code for "abusing democratic freedoms." This could mean up to seven years in prison.Allegations were raised in February 2015 The indictment was issued in February 2015 setting out charges in connection with two other political blogs Dan Quyen (civil rights) and Chep Su Viet (Vietnamese history writing), both of which are critical of government policies and officials and are banned by authorities. The indictment states that these two blogs had more than 3.7 million readers.
According to the Act, suspects accused under Article 258 (2) can be initially held in preliminary detention for up to 6 months and following the indictment, held in temporary detention for a maximum of 90 days for trial preparation. In this case, after 17 months of detention, Nguyen Huu Vinh has not yet been given a date for the trial.
Nguyen Huu Vinha's family asked the authorities to release the two men, but did not get any response. In October, Nguyen Huu Vinha told his family and lawyer that he was suffering from a skin condition with a red rash covering his body, and he has not received adequate medical treatment.
Nguyen Huu Vinh is a former policeman and son of a former senior government official and a leading member of the Communist Party of Vietnam, who was ambassador in the former USSR. He is married and has two children. We know little about his assistant, Nguyen Minh Thuy. The indictment however, describes him as a divorced man with two children. Nguyen Huu Vinh and Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy are prisoners of conscience detained solely for exercising of their right to freedom of expression.
Vietnam is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. These commitments, however, are restricted in Vietnam, both in law and in practice. Vaguely worded articles in the national security of the Vietnamese Penal Code of 1999 are frequently used to criminalize peaceful dissent and activities. At risk are people advocating peaceful political debate, criticizing government policy or people demanding respect for human rights. Article 258 (abuse of democratic freedoms violation of state interests, the legitimate rights and interests of organizations and / or citizens) are often used to arrest and prosecute dissidents for their peaceful activism. This includes bloggers, activists, labor rights advocates and the rights of landowners, political activists, religious adherents, human rights lawyers and activist for social justice, or even perhaps lyricist.
Prison conditions are poor in Vietnam and do not even meet the minimum standards enshrined in the UN Standard Minimum Rules and other international standards. There is a lack of food and adequate medical care. Prisoners of conscience are punished with solitary confinement and incommunicado detention for a long time. They are also subjected to ill-treatment, including beatings by other inmates. Many prisoners of conscience are often moved from one detention facility to another, often without the submission of information to the families. Many prisoners of conscience go on hunger strike to protest against ill-treatment and poor conditions of detention.