Top (left to right): Le Thu Ha, Nguyen Bac Truyen, and Nguyen Trung Ton
Bottom (left to right): Nguyen Van Dai, Truong Minh Duc, and Pham Van Troi

 

© Private

(ニューヨーク) ― ベトナムは、権利活動家のレ・トゥー・ハ氏、Nguyen Bac Truyen氏、グエン・チュン・トン氏、グエン・ヴァン・ダイ氏、Pham Van Troi氏、Truong Minh Duc氏に対する訴追をすべて取り下げ、 即時釈放すべきだ、と本日ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチは述べた。ハノイ市人民裁判所では、2018年4月5日に公判が予定されている。

6人の活動家は、刑法第79条のもと「人民政権倒壊罪」の容疑で訴追された。

ヒューマン・ライツ・ウォッチのアジア局局長ブラッド・アダムスは、「これら活動家が犯した唯一の犯罪は、民主主義を目指すたゆまぬ活動と人権侵害の被害者を守るー活動だ」と述べる。「ベトナム政府は活動家を逮捕して裁くのではなく、国の改善に力を注いでいることに感謝すべきだ。」

レ・トゥー・ハ氏、Nguyen Bac Truyen氏グエン・チュン・トン氏、グエン・ヴァン・ダイ氏Pham Van Troi氏Truong Minh Duc氏は、グエン・ヴァン・ダイ氏と仲間の活動家たちが2013年4月に設立した「民主主義のための同胞団(Brotherhood for Democracy)」と関与したことで罪を問われている。 同団体は、「ベトナム憲法と国際条約が保障する人権を守る」「ベトナムのための民主主義的・進歩的・文明的かつ公正な社会の建設を促進する」という目標を掲げ、ベトナムの人権と民主主義のための運動を国内外で展開する活動家たちのネットワークを提供してきた。

同胞団メンバーは、市民社会・人権・民主主義に関する非公式の研修を実施し、インターネット上の安全・セキュリティといったスキルを学んだ。 そして、反中国や環境汚染に対する抗議集会、自然災害の被害者および障がいのある退役軍人への人道支援活動にも参加。同胞団は、民主化運動で逮捕・訴追された仲間の活動家たちに法的支援を提供し、かつベトナムの民主主義と人権を求める嘆願書に共同で署名した。また連帯を示すために、政治囚及びその家族を訪問している。

6人の活動家は数々の人権活動に参加してきた。具体的には、被害者の支援運動や人権スタンダードの指南、信教の自由をめぐる政策提言、政治囚およびその家族の支援などだ。Nguyen Bac Truyen氏、グエン・チュン・トン氏、Pham Van Troi氏、Truong Minh Duc氏は、有害廃棄物を海に違法投棄してベトナム中部沿岸で大規模な海洋汚染を引き起こした、台湾の鉄鋼会社フォルモサへの抗議キャンペーンを展開するため、そのほかの市民社会団体と協力していた。

グエン・ヴァン・ダイ氏とレ・トゥー・ハ氏は2015年12月に逮捕され、刑法第88条のもと反国家宣伝罪の容疑で訴追された。両氏は法律顧問へのアクセスを認められないまま、約20カ月間拘禁された。2017年7月に、警察は刑法第79条の「人民政権倒壊罪」に訴追内容を変更。他の4人も同じ容疑で2017年7月に逮捕された。

レ・トゥー・ハ氏を除く5人は、平和的な民主化・人権活動を理由に逮捕され、これまでも服役したことがある。

Quang Binh Onlineによると、クアンビン省の共産党支部報道官は次のような見解を示した。「民主主義のための同胞団は、その他の敵対勢力や反動分子とともに、中部沿岸で2016年4月に起きた海洋環境事件を利用するために、『法の裁き』『自由』『民主主義』『環境のための行進・抗議』という名のもとで、事件をプロバガンダ化・歪曲・刺激し、人びとが抗議運動に参加するよう扇動することに努めた。これらの民は世間の注目を集める繊細な問題をふくらまして世論を揺さぶり、互いへの疑いや不満を引き起こす。環境汚染事件は、これらの民が国内外の世論に影響を及ぼす騒音を悪用し、扇動する『機会』または『原因』となってしまった。そして、ベトナム共産党および政府の政策・手引や、地方の社会経済開発の行く末をめぐり、誤解を生じさせた。」

2016年4月のフォルモサ社による環境汚染以来、環境保護や収入を失った被害者への公正な補償を要求する無数の抗議運動が行われてきた。ベトナム政府当局は、Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh氏チャン・ティ・ガー氏Ho Van Hai氏チャン・ホアン・フック氏Hoang Duc Binh氏グエン・ヴァン・ホア氏ほか多くの人びとを逮捕・投獄することでこれに応えている。

アダムス局長は、「この6人の活動家の公判が、フォルモサ社による海洋汚染事件の2周年に予定されていることは偶然ではない」と指摘する。「ベトナム政府は批判者を沈黙させるのをやめ、海洋浄化の進捗について公平な外部評価を命じ、かつ被害地域の住民と直接やり取りをして、損失に対する公正かつ透明な補償をすべきだ。」

Nguyen Van Dai

Nguyen Van Dai, 48, is a human rights lawyer who supported the formation of many rights groups in 2006, including the Vietnam Independent Union, the pro-democracy Bloc 8406, and the Committee for Human Rights in Vietnam. He took on most of the legal defense for embattled Protestant churches, including the case of Mennonite pastor and former political prisoner Nguyen Hong Quang. He has written a number of articles about democracy and press freedom. He also opened informal classes at his law office for students who wanted to learn about human rights.

For his activities, Nguyen Van Dai has been subject to numerous accounts of harassment, intimidation, interrogation, house arrest, detention, physical assault, and imprisonment. He was disbarred and arrested in March 2007 for “conducting propaganda against the state” under article 88 of the penal code. In May 2007, he was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. In November 2007, an appeals court reduced his sentence to four years.

After completing his prison sentence, Nguyen Van Dai immediately resumed his human rights activism. In April 2013, he helped found a group called Brotherhood for Democracy, with the goals “to defend human rights recognized by the Vietnam Constitution and international conventions” and “to promote the building of a democratic, progressive, civilized, and just society for Vietnam.”

In May 2014, while in a café in Hanoi along with several rights activists, a group of men appeared, threw a glass at him, and beat him. In January and March 2015, groups of men attacked his house and tried to break down the door. In early December 2015, Nguyen Van Dai gave a talk about human rights enshrined in Vietnam’s Constitution, followed by an open discussion at the Van Loc parish in Nam Dan district, Nghe An province. In the afternoon, he left for Hanoi, accompanied by three fellow activists. Their taxi was stopped by a group of about a dozen men in civilian clothing and wearing surgical masks. Nguyen Van Dai told a reporter at Radio Free Asia that the men dragged him out of the taxi, beat him with wooden sticks on his thighs and shoulders, and then dragged him into their car where the beating continued. The perpetrators eventually stripped him of his jackets and shoes and abandoned him on a beach. The three other activists were also severely beaten by different groups of men. Ten days after the attack, police arrested Nguyen Van Dai when he was on his way to meet an EU delegation in Vietnam for the annual human rights dialogue.

Nguyen Van Dai was charged with conducting propaganda against the state and was held in police detention for 19 and a half months without access to lawyers or legal counsel. In July 2017, the police changed the charge to carrying out activities that aim to overthrow the people’s administration under article 79 of the penal code.

Nguyen Van Dai was awarded a Hellman/Hammett free expression grant in 2007, the Vietnam Human Rights award by the Vietnam Human Rights Network in 2007, and the Human Rights Prize by the German Association of Judges in 2017.
 

Truong Minh Duc

Truong Minh Duc, 58, is a journalist who wrote and published in various mainstream newspapers in Vietnam, including Vanguard (Tien phong), Youth (Thanh nien), Law (Phap luat), and Kien Giang (the newspaper of his hometown). His writing exposed corruption and wrongdoing committed by local authorities involved in land ownership. He called people to help those in difficult situations. In 2006, he joined the pro-democracy Bloc 8406 and the Populist Party, which “aims to participate in the struggle to advance social democratic process and to build a new Vietnam with peace, freedom, prosperity and progress.”

Truong Minh Duc was arrested in May 2007 and charged with “abusing rights to democracy and freedom to infringe upon the interest of the state” under article 258 of the penal code. He was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. Since completing his prison term in May 2012, Truong Minh Duc resumed writing about rights issues. He advocates for fellow prisoners of conscience who continue to face harassment in prison simply because they refuse to repent. He joined the Free Viet Labor Federation (Lao dong Viet) from 2014-2016 and the Viet Labor Movement (Phong trao Lao dong Viet) in 2016 to campaign for workers’ rights. He is also a member of the Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience (Hoi Cuu Tu nhan Luong tam Viet Nam), and the Brotherhood for Democracy, founded in 2013 “to defend human rights recognized by the Vietnam Constitution and international conventions” and “to promote the building of a democratic, progressive, civilized and just society for Vietnam.” He campaigned against Formosa, a Taiwanese steel company that dumped toxic waste into the sea and caused a massive marine disaster along the central coast of Vietnam.

Due to his human rights activities, Truong Minh Duc encountered harassment, intimidation, house arrest, interrogation, and physical assault. In September 2014, when Truong Minh Duc went with three other activists to the Ministry of Public Security in Hanoi to inquire about the prohibition of labor rights campaigner Do Thi Minh Hanh’s trip abroad, a group of men in civilian clothes attacked and beat him until he lost consciousness. In November 2014, he was severely beaten by a group of eight men, one of whom he identified as a police officer named Hoa, who interrogated and beat him two months earlier at the police station of My Phuoc ward, Ben Cat district (Binh Duong province). In November 2015, the police of Dong Nai province detained and assaulted Truong Minh Duc and labor activist Do Thi Minh Hanh for helping workers at Yupoong Company exercise their rights.

In July 2017, the police arrested Truong Minh Duc and charged him with carrying out activities that aimed to overthrow the people’s administration under to article 79 of the penal code.

Truong Minh Duc was awarded a Hellman/Hammett free expression grant in 2013 and the Vietnam Human Rights award by the Vietnam Human Rights Network in 2010.
 

Nguyen Trung Ton

Nguyen Trung Ton, 46, is an independent Protestant pastor and a blogger whose writings focus on the lack of religious freedom and other rights issues in Vietnam. He has written about local land confiscation and corruption that has driven many peasants into landless situations. He criticized the government’s spending of tax money on festivals instead of building infrastructure, schools, or helping the poor. He supported fellow religious activists including independent Hoa Hao Buddhist leader Le Quang Liem and Mennonite pastor Duong Kim Khai. Nguyen Trung Ton has written about police harassment and assaults against him and his family.

Nguyen Trung Ton has encountered harassment, intimidation, house arrest, interrogation, and physical assault on numerous occasions. In May 2003, men in civilian clothes attacked his home, which he had turned into a house church. In June 2006, he was summoned by the police after attending a church worship service and was assaulted during interrogation. In August 2009, during an independent praying session at a private house, men in civilian clothes accompanied by local officials attacked and beat Nguyen Trung Ton’s family and fellow religious activists. In June 2010, his teenage son Nguyen Trung Trong Nghia was beaten on his way to school by five anonymous men after his father exposed police abuses.

Nguyen Trung Ton was arrested in January 2011 for conducting propaganda against the state and was sentenced to two years in prison. After completing his prison term in January 2013, Nguyen Trung Ton immediately resumed his campaign for human rights and democracy. He wrote a prison memoir that was published in Dan Lam Bao (Citizen Journalism). He advocated for political prisoners to be released. He joined the Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience (Hoi Cuu Tu nhan Luong tam Viet Nam) and the Brotherhood for Democracy, founded in 2013 “to defend human rights recognized by the Vietnam Constitution and international conventions” and “to promote the building of a democratic, progressive, civilized and just society for Vietnam.” He campaigned against Formosa, a Taiwanese steel company that dumped toxic waste into the sea and caused a massive marine disaster along the central coast of Vietnam.

In February 2017, Nguyen Trung Ton and a friend took a bus from Quang Thing commune, Thanh Hoa province to Ba Don town, Quang Binh province. Upon arrival, a group of seven or eight young men in civilian clothing dragged them into a van, took their belongings, stripped their clothes off, covered their heads with their jackets, and beat them repeatedly with iron tubes. The perpetrators later abandoned Nguyen Trung Ton and his friend in a deserted forest in Ha Tinh province. Nguyen Trung Ton was seriously injured and had to undergo an operation at a local hospital.

In July 2017, the police arrested Nguyen Trung Ton and charged him for carrying out activities that aimed to overthrow the people’s administration under article 79 of the penal code.

Nguyen Trung Ton was awarded a Hellman/Hammett free expression grant in 2013.
 

Pham Van Troi

Pham Van Troi, 46, is a blogger who has used various pen names to write about human rights, democracy, land rights, religious freedom, and territorial disputes between China and Vietnam. He was an active member of the Committee for Human Rights in Vietnam, one of the only human rights organizations to ever operate in Vietnam, until all of its leaders were arrested. He also wrote for the dissident bulletin To Quoc (Fatherland). Since 2006, he has encountered numerous cases of harassment, house arrest, physical assault, and interrogation.

Police arrested Pham Van Troi in September 2008 and charged him with conducting propaganda against the state under article 88 of the penal code. In May 2009, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention determined that Pham Van Troi had been wrongfully detained. Despite its conclusion, he was sentenced in October 2009 to four years in prison.

According to the indictment reported by state media, Pham Van Troi wrote “‘A denouncement of the security policy of the State and the Communist Party of Vietnam’ in November 2006 with content that distorts the truth and slanders the State as an oppressor of democracy. In addition, Troi gave interviews via telephone and slander that the police and the masses repressed and beat him.”

After completing his prison term in September 2012, Pham Van Troi immediately resumed his campaign for human rights and democracy. In April 2013, he helped found a group called Brotherhood for Democracy “to defend human rights recognized by the Vietnam Constitution and international conventions” and “to promote the building of a democratic, progressive, civilized, and just society for Vietnam.” He advocated for political prisoners and detainees including for Tran Anh Kim and Nguyen Van Dai to be released. He campaigned against Formosa, the Taiwanese steel company that dumped toxic waste into the sea and caused a marine disaster along the central coast of Vietnam.

Pham Van Troi was placed under intrusive surveillance. Activists and former political prisoners who visited him were harassed, detained, and beaten. In December 2016, men in civilian clothes threw rocks at his house and broke his window.

Police arrested Pham Van Troi in July 2017 and charged him for carrying out activities that aimed to overthrow the people’s administration under article 79 of the penal code.

He was awarded a Hellman/Hammett free expression grant in 2010.
 

Nguyen Bac Truyen

Nguyen Bac Truyen, 50, was an entrepreneur who began to participate in humanitarian activities in the early 2000s. He provided aid to victims of national disasters, orphans, and children in remote areas. His company was among the first in Vietnam that adopted a paternity leave policy. He also wrote and published in overseas news websites about repression, injustice, and human rights violations committed by the government. In 2005, he joined the newly founded People’s Democratic Party (Dang Dan chu Nhan dan) to campaign for political pluralism in Vietnam.

Nguyen Bac Truyen was arrested in November 2006 under article 88 of the penal code for conducting propaganda against the state. According to the indictment reported by state media, prior to the 14th APEC Summit (in November 2006), he “distributed leaflets, gathered people to organize protests, and wrote letters to demand a meeting with the American president upon his visit to Ho Chi Minh City.” In May 2007, the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City convicted Nguyen Bac Truyen and sentenced him to four years in prison. In August 2007, the People’s Supreme Court reduced his sentence to three years and six months in prison.

Since being released in May 2010, Nguyen Bac Truyen began to publish writings about his fellow political prisoners and the difficulties and discrimination that former political prisoners face. He has been an outspoken member of the Vietnamese Political and Religious Prisoners Fellowship Association (Hoi Ai huu Tu nhan Chinh tri va Ton giao Viet Nam), which provides support to prisoners and their families. He gave interviews to Radio Free Asia and the BBC about his prison experiences and compiled a detailed list of political prisoners in Vietnam to international human rights organizations. Nguyen Bac Truyen advocated for independent Hoa Hao Buddhist followers who suffer repression simply because they did not join the state-sanctioned church. He collaborated with the Redemptorist church in Ho Chi Minh City to carry out humanitarian activities to invalid veterans who fought for the southern army before 1975. He campaigned against Formosa, a Taiwanese steel company that dumped toxic waste into the sea and caused a massive marine disaster along the central coast of Vietnam.

Because of his pro-rights activities, Nguyen Bac Truyen has encountered harassment, intimidation, intrusive surveillance, interrogation, and physical assault on numerous occasions. In August 2010, police in Ho Chi Minh City detained and questioned him after he publicly called on Vietnam's politburo to release political and religious prisoners. In February 2014, a group of fellow activists went to visit Nguyen Bac Truyen and his wife Bui Thi Kim Phuong in Lap Vo district, Dong Thap province. Traffic police and men in civilian clothes stopped the group and attacked them. Three activists were arrested and charged with “disrupting public order” and sentenced to prison. Two weeks later, Nguyen Bac Truyen went to Hanoi to meet with foreign diplomats to campaign for those who were arrested. On the way to the Australian embassy in Hanoi, a group of men in civilian clothes assaulted him and broke his nose. In September 2016, Nguyen Bac Truyen and his wife were on their way home when a group of men in civilian clothes attacked them and used helmets to beat them.

Police arrested Nguyen Bac Truyen in July 2017 and charged him with carrying out activities that aimed to overthrow the people’s administration according to article 79 of the penal code.

Nguyen Bac Truyen was awarded a Hellman/Hammett free expression grant in 2011 and the Vietnam Human Rights award by the Vietnam Human Rights Network in 2014.
 

Le Thu Ha

Le Thu Ha, 36, became interested in human rights and social issues when she was a student. After graduation, she became an English teacher and participated in civil society activities. In 2013, she joined a group called Brotherhood for Democracy “to defend human rights recognized by the Vietnam Constitution and international conventions” and “to promote the building of a democratic, progressive, civilized, and just society for Vietnam.” She helped translate reports of human rights violations into English for the group. She participated in pro-environment protests against mass tree cutting in Hanoi in March 2015. She joined a small group of activists to broadcast news about human rights abuses on a YouTube channel called “Television of Conscience” (Luong tam TV), established in August 2015 by Brotherhood for Democracy and Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience. She called for the repeal of penal code 258 that punishes peaceful activists for “abusing the rights to democracy and freedom to infringe upon the interests of the state.” Le Thu Ha also went to court during the trials of political activists to show solidarity.

In April 2015, police prohibited Le Thu Ha from leaving Vietnam for a human rights conference in Sweden. In September 2015, she was detained and interrogated for participating in the “Television of Conscience.”

In December 2015, police arrested Le Thu Ha and charged her with conducting propaganda against the state under article 88 of the penal code. She was held in police detention for 19 and a half months without access to lawyers or legal counsel. In July 2017, the police changed her charge to carrying out activities that aimed to overthrow the people’s administration under article 79 of the penal code.