Vice President of IJAVN Blocked from Meeting with OHCHR Officials

IJAVN’s Vice President Nguyen Tuong Thuy (third, from left) with a delegation of Vietnamese activists in US’s tour in 2014 to report human rights violations in the country

Defend the Defenders, March 8, 2018

Security forces in Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi have barred blogger Nguyen Tuong Thuy, vice president of the unsanctioned Independent Journalist Association of Vietnam (IJAVN) from participating in a meeting between local activists and senior officials from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Around twenty police officers in uniform and plain clothes as well as militia have been deployed near his private residence in Thanh Tri district from March 7, one day ahead of the meeting scheduled in the UN’s Representative Office Headquarters in Hanoi.

When he tried to go to the meeting, police surrouned him and did not allow him to leave his house.

When visiting Vietnam, the OHCHR’s delegation, led by Head of the OHCHR Regional Office in the Southeast Asia Cynthia Veliko, wanted to meet with local civil society to investigate human rights situation in Vietnam which has worsened since early 2016 when the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam held the 12th National Congress to select the new leadership for the 2016-2021 period.

Along with arrests and convictions, Vietnam’s security forces have also blocked many activists from going abroad as well as meeting with foreign diplomats.

Mr. Thuy has been under continous harassment from authorities due to his social activities and charity campaigns. He was brutally beaten by police officers in some occasions, and has been placed under house arrest many times.