Jailed Pro-democracy Activist Le Dinh Luong Not Permitted to Meet with Family

Human rights defender and pro-democracy activist Le Dinh Luong

Defend the Defenders, September 18, 2019


Police officers in Ba Sao Prison camp have blocked jailed pro-democracy activist Le Dinh Luong from meeting with his family during regular prison visits on September 17 without giving specific reasons, his daughter-in-law has informed Defend the Defenders.

Mrs. Nguyen Xoan said that she and other family’s members passed hundreds of kilometers from the central province of Nghe An to visit her father-in-law who is serving his 20-year imprisonment in the camp, however, police officers did not allow him to meet them.

When the family insisted police officers to explain their move, they denied, said Xoan, who lives in Ho Chi Minh City with her husband, more than 1,600 km from the northern province of Ha Nam where the camp is located.

Police officers also sent a thug to threaten the family, Xoan noted. She is concerned about her father-in-law’s situation as he may be disciplined by the prison’s authorities.

This is the second time her family was denied from meeting with him, Xoan said, adding her family has submitted a petition to the Ministry of Public Security to appeal the decision of the prison, however, her family has yet received a reply from the ministry.

Mr. Luong, 54, is among 233 prisoners of conscience. The pro-democracy activist and anti-corruption fighter was arrested on July 24, 2017 and charged with subversion for his relations with the Vietnam Reform Party, the California-based group labeled as a terrorist group by the communist regime in Hanoi. Last year, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, the highest sentence given to an activist for many years.

Jailed Vietnamese activists are subjects to torture and inhumane treatment by the communist regime who want to destroy their physically and mentally. They are often placed in solitary cells for weeks.

Meanwhile, jailed independent journalist Nguyen Van Hoa, who is serving his seven-year imprisonment in An Diem Prison camp in the central province of Quang Nam, is reportedly returned to his cell after being held in a solitary cell for months as a disciplinary measure.