Dong Thap to Try Activist Huynh Truong Ca for “conducting anti-state propaganda”on December 28


Defend the Defenders, December 25, 2018


The People’s Court of Vietnam’s southern province of Dong Thap will hold a trial on December 28 to try local activist Huynh Truong Ca on allegation of “conducting anti-state propaganda” under Article 117 of the country’s 2015 Penal Code.

Mr. Ca, 47, is a member of the unregistered group Hien Phap (Constitution)  which is advocating human rights, political and civil rights by disseminating the country’s 2013 Constitution and international treaties in which Vietnam is a signatory party.

He and other members of Hien Phap were key figures of the peaceful demonstrations in Ho Chi Minh City on June 10 in which tens of thousands of people from different social groups rallied on streets to protest Vietnamese communist-controlled parliament’s plan to approve two bills Special Economic Zones and Cyber Security. The first one is considered to ignore the country’s sovereignty and favour Chinese investors while the second is expected to silence local dissent.

Mr. Ca was arrested on September 4 and held incommunicado since his detention.

His arrest is part of Vietnam’s crackdown on local dissent in early September amid calls for mass demonstration on the occasion of the country’s Independence Day (September 2). Police arrested dozens of activists, including nine members of Hien Phap group.

Ca is facing imprisonment of up to 12 years in prison if is convicted.

Vietnam continues its persecution against human rights defenders, political acitivsts, online bloggers. Since the begining of this year, Vietnam has arrested 26 activists and convicted 39 activists, sentencing them to between one year and 20 years in prison with a total 294.5 years in prison and 66 years of probation.

In addition, Vietnam has imprisoned around 70 peaceful protesters on allegation of “causing public disorders.”

According to Now!Campaign, a coalition of 14 international human rights organizations and domestic rights groups, Vietnam is holding 240 prisoners of conscience.

Năm 2018, Việt Nam đã kết án 39 nhà hoạt động với mức án từ 1 đến 20 năm tù giam, với tổng cộng 294.5 năm tù giam và 66 năm quản chế.