Anti-China Activist Completes 14-month Imprisonment On Fabricated Charge

Mr. Trung (with flowers) welcomed by activists outside of Xuan Loc prison on July 15
Mr. Trung (with flowers) welcomed by activists outside of Xuan Loc prison on July 15

[themify_box style=”green, announcement, rounded” ]Trung said the trio was beaten by mobile policemen upon the detentions. He was greatly pressured by interrogating officers during the pre-trial period to admit those activities that he has not committed.[/themify_box]

by Vu Quoc Ngu, July 15, 2015

Anti-China activist Do Nam Trung, who is also a democracy campaigner, on July 15 completed his 14-month imprisonment due to the fabricated allegation of conducting activities “abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the state, the legitimate rights and interests of organizations and/or citizens” under Article 258 of the Criminal Code.

On May 15 last year, the Hanoi-based student, together with his two friends namely Le Thi Phuong Anh and Pham Minh Vu from the unsanctioned Brotherhood of Democracy went from the capital city to the Vietnamese southern region in a bid to cover news about anti-China violent demonstrations of local residents and workers.

On the first day of arrival in Dong Nai province, the trio was detained by policemen, who beat them brutally. Initially, police accused the three activists of inciting anti-China riots in which angry workers attacked Chinese workers and destroyed China-invested factories in Dong Nai province’s industrial zones. However, due to lack of solid evidence, Vietnam’s investigation agency changed allegation.

On a close trial on Feb 12 this year, the People’s Court of the southern province of Dong Nai found the trio guilty and sentenced Vu to 18 months in jail, while Trung and Anh received respective 14 months and 12 months in prison.

Vu, a young pro-democracy activist, is still in prison while Mrs. Anh was released two month ago.

On Wednesday, Trung was welcomed by a number of activists who came to the Dong Nai province-based Xuan Loc prison to pick him up.

Trung said the trio was beaten by mobile policemen upon the detentions. He was greatly pressured by interrogating officers during the pre-trial period to admit those activities that he has not committed.

He was also not allowed to hire lawyers to protect him but to accept lawyers assigned by police.

The living conditions in the Xuan Loc prison are very tough, he said, adding the food was bad and prisoners have to buy additional food to meet nutritional requirements.

Trung was placed in a room with 14 criminal prisoners, he said. He was allowed to meet his family members under close eyes of security officers, he added.

In mid-May last year, tens of thousands of Vietnamese rallied on streets to protest the Chinese illegal placement of HYSY-981 in Vietnam’s central offshore. Some of these rallies turned into violent in which angry Vietnamese destroyed hundreds of China-invested factories and beat Chinese nationals. Many companies from Taiwan and South Korea were also attacked by mistake.

According to state media, some deaths from the two sides were recorded. Prodemocracy activists and human rights campaigners did not support the violent demonstrations, observers said.

After normalizing situations, Vietnam’s security forces arrested and brought to the courts numerous individuals committing demolishment . However, those who were organized the violent are likely still not caught.

Vietnam, the country most affected by the Chinese expansionism in the East Sea, only verbally protests the Chinese aggressive moves.

The communist government has suppressed and intimidated numerous anti-China activists, putting many of them in prison./.