Prisoner of Conscience Huynh Duc Thinh Suffers from Hemorrhagic Stroke Few Weeks Before His One-Year Imprisonment Ends


Defend the Defenders, December 9, 2020


Prisoner of conscience Huynh Duc Thinh, who is serving his one-year imprisonment in a prison camp in Dong Nai province, is suffering from a hemorrhage stroke a few weeks before his term ends and he is under critical conditions.

After being treated ineffectively in a hospital managed by the Ministry of Public Security, Mr. Thinh was transferred to Hospital 115, a private medical facility in Ho Chi Minh City upon request of his former wife Nguyen Thi Hue, who is taking care for him along with conducting regular prison visits to their son Huynh Duc Thanh Binh, a young democracy activist being imprisoned in Xuan Loc Prison camp in Dong Nai.

Ms. Hue told Defend the Defenders that her ex-husband is still under close surveillance of a group of police officers. She said the police have not provided the information about the cause of his illness, adding when she met him in the prison camp on November 29, he was totally healthy.

Mr. Thinh, a former political prisoner at his 68-year age, was arrested on July 7, 2018 by the security forces in Ho Chi Minh City after they kidnapped Mr. Binh, Thailand-based democracy campaigner Mr. Tran Long Phi and Vietnamese American Michael Minh Phuong Nguyen. Mr. Thinh was charged with “misprision” under Clause 1 of Article 390 of the Criminal Code while the three others were alleged of subversion.

In June 2019, the People’s Court of HCM City convicted the four to total 30 years in prison. Particularly, Mr. Nguyen was sentenced to 12 years, Mr. Binh- ten years, Mr. Phi-eight years, and Mr. Thinh- one year.

In an appeal hearing in November last year, the Higher People’s Court in HCM City upheld the sentence of Mr. Thinh and he was taken to police custody. His term is expected to end three weeks later.

Meanwhile, Mr. Nguyen was freed and deported to the US while Mr. Binh was transferred to Xuan Loc Prison camp and Phi was taken to Gia Trung Prison camp in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai.

Vietnam is the biggest prison of prisoners of conscience in Southeast Asia, according to the report released by Amnesty International on December 1. In prison camps and detention facilities across the country, prisoners of conscience are being treated inhumanely, subjects of physical and mental torture carried out by police officers or criminal inmates backed by police.