Three Hanoi-based Activists Held in Police Station for Hours, One Beaten After Holding Peaceful Mini-demonstration

Activists hold banner to support multi-party democracy before being detained on June 2, 2018

Defend the Defenders, June 2, 2018

On June 2, authorities in Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi detained three local activists when they held a mini-demonstration to support multi-party democracy.

In the morning of Saturday, a group of Hanoi-based activists namely Truong Van Dung, Phung The Dung, Trinh Ba Phuong, Luu Phuong and Le Hung gathered in Kim Lien street to conduct a small peaceful demonstration with banners “Đòi hỏi dân chủ không phải là tội” (Request for democracy is not a crime) and pictures of jailed senior members of the Brotherhood for Democracy.

Withinin minutes, police from O Cho Dua ward, Dong Da district came to disperse their gathering, detaining Truong Van Dung, Phung The Phung, and Trinh Ba Phuong. They took the trio to the ward’s police station and held them until evening.

Mr. Phuong, the older son of former prisoner of conscience Can Thi Theu, said he was beaten by police during custody. One police officer beat him on his head, he said in a video clip he made after being freed.

The activists held the demonstration to support jailed senior members of the online group Brotherhood for Democracy. Nguyen Trung Ton, Truong Minh Duc, Pham Van Troi and Nguyen Bac Truyen, co-founders of the organization, were convicted by the People’s Court of Hanoi on April 5 on charge of subversion under Article 79 of the 1999 Penal Code. Being sentenced to between seven and 12 years in prison, they appealed their sentences and their appeal hearing is slated on June 4.

Police in Hanoi are expected to tighten control in the next few days to prevent local activists from gathering to support the imprisoned pro-democracy activists. Local authorities may send plainclothes agents to private residences of activists to place them under house arrest, like onmany other occasions.