Labor Activist, Environmentalist Hoang Duc Binh Yet to Allowed to Meet with Family Since Being Arrested in May Last Year

Labor activist and environmental campaigner Hoang Duc Binh

Defend the Defenders, March 27, 2018

Vietnam’s authorities have not permitted jailed labor activist and environmentalist Hoang Duc Binh to meet with his family since being arrested in May last year.

Binh, who was kidnapped on May 15 by plainclothes agents and later charged with “resisting persons in the performance of their official duties” under Article 330 and “Abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the State, the legitimate rights and interests of organizations and/or citizens” under Article 331 of the country’s 2015 Penal Code,  is currently held in the Temporary detention facility under the authority of the Nghe An province’s police.

On February 6 this year, the People’s Court in Dien Chau district convicted him and sentenced to 14 years in prison, one of the heavies sentences for activists in recent years.

Hoang Nguyen, an younger brother of the imprisoned activist said his family is allowed to provide clothes and additional food for Binh three times a month.

Every time, the family can send a package of goods with total weight below three kilograms, while the food value must not exceed VND50,000 ($2.2), Hoang Nguyen said, adding the last time on March 27, his mother supplied his brother with two eggs and a little pork.

Hoang Nguyen said his mother has asked the authorities to allow her to meet with Hoang Duc Binh for one minute just to know whether he is healthy or not, but they denied.

Hoang Duc Binh, whose physical apperance is bad on the first-instance trial likely suffering from torture, has filled appealing the court’s decision and his appreal hearing is expected to be held in coming weeks.

After his arrest and conviction, many foreign countries and international human rights organizations have condemned Vietnam’s government, requesting Hanoi to release Hoang Duc Binh and other prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally.

On February 23, UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights released a statement in which UN human rights experts, including Baskut Tuncak, Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and Hazardous Substances and Wastes and Baskut Tuncak, Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and Hazardous Substances and Wastes  have called for the release of individuals namely Hoang Duc Binh, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh and Nguyen Van Hoa who are jailed for writing about and reacting to a discharge of toxic industrial chemicals into coastal waters of Vietnam.

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