Prominent Anti-China Protestor Hardly Escapes from Chasing Security Agents Prior to Xi’s Visit

Ms. Bui Thi Minh Hang at an anti-China protest in Hanoi in 2011


Defend the Defenders, November 10, 2017

Prominent anti-China protestor Bui Thi Minh Hang has hardly escaped from chasing security agents on Hanoi streets ahead of the official visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi, the former prisoner of conscience told Defend the Defenders.

The incident took place in Gia Lam district on November 10, two days ahead of the scheduled trip of President Xi to the city and nine days after Hanoi police kidnapped her, robbed her cell phone and money, and interrogation.

Ms. Hang, who was very active at peaceful demonstrations against China’s violations of the country’s sovereignty in the East Sea (South China Sea) in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in 2011-2013, said she was followed by dozens of plainclothes agents when she visited a friend in Gia Lam district in late afternoon of Friday.

While taking a dinner at a local restaurant with her daughter, son-in-law and their daughter, she noticed that many plainclothes agents were around her.

When the family left the restaurant and took a taxi, plainclothes agents followed by their motorbikes and cars. She had to change taxes three times to escape from the followers.

After hours of the game of cat and mouse on streets, Hang and her family came to a safe place.

She said her presence in Hanoi is not welcomed by the local police who have tightened control prior to the state visits of President Xi and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Police afraid that she may organize or participate in public demonstrations to protest Xi, who has antagonistic policy in the East Sea. However, she has no plan but visit relatives and friends in the city.

Hang is among many anti-China activists who have suffered from persecution from the communist government in Hanoi. She was arrested in 2013 and later sentenced to 30 months in prison in a trumped-up political case.

Last week, on November 1, she was kidnapped, robbed and interrogated by Hanoi security forces when she visited her cousin in her native Soc Son district.

Meanwhile, authorities in Hanoi have sent numerous plainclothes agents and thugs to station near private residences of local activists, placing them under de facto house arrest since November 3.

Vietnam hosted APEC Summit in the central city of Danang on November 6-10. Presidents Trump and Xi will make their official visits to Hanoi on November 11-12.