Vietnamese Retired Teacher Arrested, Charged with Subversion

Mr. Dao Quang Thuc (middle and first row) at an anti-Formosa protest in Hanoi in May 2016

By Vu Quoc Ngu, October 7, 2017

On October 5, authorities in Vietnam’s northern province of Hoa Binh arrested former teacher Dao Quang Thuc and accused of carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the administration, which comes under Article 79 of the country’s 1999 Penal Code.

In its announcement released on Thursday, the province’s police investigation agency said they conducted an urgent arrest of Mr. Thuc and carried out searching his private residence in Toan Son commune, Da Bac district.

Mr. Thuc, 60, will be held in the province police’s detention facility where he will be probed for subversion, the police said.

Mr. Thuc retired recently. He has participated in a number of peaceful activities which aimed to protest China’s violations of the country’s sovereignty in the East Sea (South China Sea), protect environment and fight against corruption. He had also posted his opinions about these issues on social networks including Facebook.

He has been among around 20 activists arrested and charged with controversial articles 79, 88 and 258 of the national security provisions in the Penal Code so far this year.

Among detainees are human rights defenders Nguyen Trung Ton, Pham Van Troi, Truong Minh Duc, Nguyen Van Tuc, and Nguyen Trung Truc, key persons from Brotherhood for Democracy and its co-founder Nguyen Bac Truyen who left the organization several years ago, and Le Van Luong from Vietnam Reform Party (Viet Tan), a pro-democracy group in the U.S. but labelled as terrorist group by the Vietnamese communist government.

Vietnam has also added subversion charges on prominent human rights attorney Nguyen Van Dai and his assistant Le Thu Ha who were arrested in late 2015 and charged with conducting anti-state propaganda under Article 88 of the Penal Code.

Vietnam has also arrested a number of activists and charged them with Article 88, including Vu Quang Thuan, Nguyen Van Dien, Tran Hoang Phuc and Phan Kim Khanh.

In July-September, Vietnam held unfair trials to try human rights activists Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, Tran Thi Nga and Nguyen Van Oai. The first was sentenced to ten years in prison, the second- nine years in prison and four years under house arrest, and the third- five years in jail and four years of probation.

Vietnam has intensified political crackdown ahead of APEC Summit scheduled in the central city of Danang in November. The ruling Communist Party of Vietnam has no plan to share its political power with other parties so it has ordered the government to make all efforts to prevent the formation of opposition party amid growing social dissatisfaction on systemic corruption, serious environmental pollution, poor economic performance and weak response to China’s violations of the country’s sovereignty.