Vietnamese Shipper in Relation to Liberal Publishing House Tortured by Security Officers

Chính quyền Việt Nam đang ra sức triệt phá Nhà xuất bản Tự Do?

Books printed by Liberal Publishing House

Defend the Defenders, May 10, 2020


Vietnam’s security forces continue their efforts to demolish the unregistered Liberal Publishing House (LPH), torturing a shipper who provides books printed by the underground publisher to its readers.

According to prominent political dissident and well-known blogger Pham Doan Trang, on May 8, security officers of the Ministry of Public Security made a trap to detain the shipper named Phung Thuy when he was on his way to supply books of LPH to a buyer in Ho Chi Minh City.

Security officers took Mr. Thuy to a representative office of the ministry located in Nguyen Van Cu street, District 1 in HCM City where a group of police officers beat him repeatedly from 9.00 AM of Friday to early hours of Saturday.

During the torture, police officers interrogated him about his relations with Ms. Trang and other activists involving in the affairs of the underground publisher as well as the place Ms. Trang is staying now. Thuy reportedly received serious attacks after giving answers the police officers did not want to hear.

The interrogators used all their professional skills to beat him in his breast, belly, feet, and critical points on his body until he collapsed at the midnight on Friday. As his relatives brought some medicines for him, they took their motorbike and forced him to sign in a minute in which he has to confirm that he was treated properly, not being tortured during the working time with the police.

They continued to interrogate and beat him until 3 AM on Saturday (May 9) when Thuy had to call his family to bring the medicines for him. When his relative arrived at the police station, Thuy took this chance, running out of the interrogation room to grab the motorbike of his relative and drive away.

Police officers were chasing him closely like in an action film made by Holywood. With luck, Thuy successfully escaped from angry policemen.

Thuy remains without money and personal documents while the fate of his relatives is unknown, Trang said.

He is among a number of activists being persecuted or harassed in recent months in relation to LPH. Others included Ho Sy Quyet from Hanoi and Vu Huy Hoang from HCM City.

Trang said there is a nationwide campaign of Vietnam’s police to destroy LPH and halt its print and dissemination of books with contents aiming to promote human rights, multi-party democracy, and civil rights in the country ruled by communists for decades. Along with seeking printing facilities of the publisher, police are making tricks to catch its staff and shippers. She has been forced to live in secret places in Vietnam from long time ago in order to avoid being detained by security forces.