Activist Ho Sy Quyet Freed after 9-hour Interrogation, Still Under Police Surveillance

Mr. Ho Sy Quyet and his child (FB)

Defend the Defenders, January 4, 2020


Vietnam’s authorities have released activist Ho Sy Quyet after interrogating him for more than 9 hours about his relations with the unregistered Liberal Publishing House, the victim told Defend the Defenders.

Speaking from his apartment, Mr. Quyet said he was freed by the Van Giang district’s police in the late night of January 3 but he is still under police’s surveillance.

As Defend the Defenders reported earlier, on January 3’s afternoon, a dozen of police officers, mostly in plain clothes, stumped into the private residence of Mr. Quyet’s couple in Ecopark Residence in Van Giang district, Hung Yen province, about 20 km from the capital city of Hanoi.

Police conducted a search of the couple’s apartment without showing a warranty. They took the couple to the district police station and confiscated their items, including a camera and support equipment, a MacBook, four cell phones, and bank cards as well as some books of the Liberal Publishing House.

In the police station, officers interrogated the couple about their relations with the Liberal Publishing House and why they have its books. They freed the wife in Friday’s late evening, probably because she has a small child to take care of.

Quyet said police requested him to report his activities as well as stop all civil society engagement otherwise they would arrest and prosecute him. Police also got access to all his social accounts and control them.

Mr. Quyet, 32, has made a video introducing books of the Liberal Publishing House which prints many books of local dissidents and global authors with the content about human rights and multi-party democracy.

He is among more than 100 citizens being persecuted for reading books printed by the Liberal Publishing House when Vietnam’s security forces launched a campaign to crack down on the publisher in October 2019, according to prominent dissident and political writer Pham Doan Trang. The measures include detentions, interrogation, and property seizure, Trang noted.

In October, Saigon-based activist Vu Huy Hoang was detained and beaten for delivering the publisher’s books to local residents. He was forced to relocate to a secret place while his wife is still under police harassment.

A few days ago, police in Ho Chi Minh City also searched the private residence of a local resident and requested him to prove that he is not a staff of the Liberal Publishing House. Their moves are violations of the law built by the communist regime, Trang noted.

The government’s ongoing crackdown on the Liberal Publishing House is part of Vietnam’s persecution against local civil societies. Other unregistered civil societies organizations targetted are Cây Xanh (Green Trees) and No-U (says No to China’s illegal claim in the East Sea or South China Sea).