Jailed Political Dissident Le Thanh Tung Transferred to Another Prison, His Family not Informed


Defend the Defenders, August 30, 2017

Vietnam’s authorities have transferred jailed political dissident Le Thanh Tung from the Ba Sao prison in the northern province of Ha Nam to another detention facility without informing his family.

Mrs. Tran Thi An, the wife of Mr. Tung, said she does not know where her husband is kept so she can visit him and provide some supplements.

Mr. Tung, who completed his four-year term in mid-2015, was arrested in 2015 together with former prisoner of conscience Tran Anh Kim and the duo was charged with subversion as they planned to establish an organization called “People Forces for Democracy Promotion” with the participation of army officers to overthrow the current regime and replace it with a democratic government.

In December last year, he People’s Court of the northern province of Thai Binh found their guilty and sentenced Mr. Kim to 13 years in prison and 12 years in jail for Mr. Tung. In addition, the two will be placed under house arrest for five and four years respectively, after completing their terms.

In late May this year, the Higher People’s Court in the capital city of Hanoi rejected their appeals and upheld the sentences.

After the trial, Kim and Tung were held in the Ba Sao under the management of the Ministry of Public Security.

One month ago, Mrs. Thom, the wife of Kim, went to the prison to visit him and she was informed that the duo was transferred to Prison No. 5 in the central province of Thanh Hoa. Two weeks later, Thom received a letter from his husband to confirm the transfer.

However, Mrs. An has yet to receive any news from her husband. She plans to go to the ministry’s agency responsible for prisons’ management to ask about her husband situation.

Vietnam’s transfer of political prisoners without informing their families is a common practice. In addition, prisoners of conscience are often held in facilities which are far from their native localities so their families find difficulties in visiting them.