Vietnam Activists Harassed after Meeting with Foreign Diplomats, Second Harassment within Week

Activists participating in a meeting on November 21, 2017: sitting from left to right: Mrs. Trang, Mr. Nguyen Vu Binh, Ms. Bui Minh Hang, and Mr. Nguyen Tuong Thuy, standing: Trinh Ba Phuong (left) and Phan Van Bach (picture from Bui Thi Minh Hang’s Facebook)

By Defend the Defenders, November 22, 2017

On November 21, police in Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi harassed a group of activists after a meeting with foreign diplomats from several countries.

The group consists of Vice President of the Independent Journalist Association of Vietnam (IJAVN) Nguyen Tuong Thuy, former prisoners of conscience Bui Thi Minh Hang and Nguyen Vu Binh, Mrs. Trang- the wife of Pham Van Troi who was arrested on July 30 and charged with subversion, land rights activist Trinh Ba Phuong and Phan Van Bach, member of he Chan Hung Nuoc Viet (Vietnam Revival Movement).

During the meeting in Fortuna hotel near the U.S. Embassy in the capital city, activists reported Vietnam’s human rights violations and the government’s harassments against local activists.

Activists said plainclothes were around and watched the event.

When the meeting finished and activists were going to leave the venue, they recognized a car with plainclothes agents in front of the hotel. Feeling they may be being detained by police, activists came back and asked the diplomats to escort them to safe places.

When Ms. Hang and Mr. Thuy got in a car, plainclothes agents chased them with their car. It took long time for the driver to escape from police.

This is the second harassment Ms. Hang faced within a week. On the noon of November 16, police detained Hang after a meeting with the EU Delegation, She was interrogated for hours and released her in the evening of the same day.