Vietnam Likely to Try Pro-democracy Advocate Luu Van Vinh and His Friends on October 5

Mr. Luu Van Vinh (left) and Mr. Nguyen Van Duc Do 

Defend the Defenders, September 16, 2018

Vietnam’s authorities will try democracy advocate Luu Van Vinh and his friends on allegation of subversion on October 5, his wife Nguyen Thi Thap has learned from a source from the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City.

So far, his family and lawyer have not received notices from the court, Mrs. Thap told Defend the Defenders.

According to the unofficial information, along with Mr. Vinh, the court will also try several of his friends named labor activist Nguyen Van Duc Do,  Buddhist monk Phan Van Trung, Nguyen Quoc Hoan and Tu Cong Nghia. They were detained in 2016-2017 and charged with “carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration” under Article 79 of the country’s 1999 Penal Code.

Mr. Vinh, 51, who was arrested on November 6, 2016, was held incommunicado for one year, including five months in Phan Dang Luu temporary detention facility before being transferred to Chi Hoa detention facility in HCM City.

Mr. Vinh’s arrest was said to be linked to the Coalition for Self-determined Vietnamese People. He founded the coalition in mid-July last year and became the president of the organization which aims to end the communists’ political monopoly. All major issues of the country should be decided by the people via referendums, according to its founding statement. However, Vinh was reported to have left the coalition a few days before being detained.

After Vinh’s detention, Amnesty International issued a statement calling on Vietnam’s government to immediately and unconditionally release him and his friend NguyenVan Duc Do and Buddhist monk Phan Van Trung.

In May 2018, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued a statement saying the arrest and detention of Mr. Vinh are arbitrary, and urges Vietnam’s government to release him immediately and unconditionally.

For more information onMr. Vinh’s case, please visit Defend the Defenders’ archive.