Joint Statement of a Coalition of Vietnamese Organizations at home and overseas on January 30, 2023, about Recent Suspicious Deaths in Vietnamese Prisons
On January 5, 2023, Pastor Dinh Diem, a religious prisoner serving a 16-year sentence for the alleged crime of “Activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s government,” died suddenly at prison camp No. 6 in Thanh Chuong district, Nghe An province.
On November 20, 2022, Mr. Phan Van Thu, founder of An Dan Dai Dao, an independent Buddhist organization serving a life sentence for the same alleged crime, died in Gia Trung prison, Gia Lai province.
On August 2, 2022, a citizen journalist, Mr. Do Cong Duong, died while serving an 8-year sentence for allegedly “abusing democratic freedoms” and “disturbing public order” in prison camp No. 6, Nghe An province.
On November 10, 2019, former teacher Dao Quang Thuc died while serving a 13-year sentence for the charge of “Activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s government,” also at prison camp No. 6.
Also, in October 2019, Mr. Doan Dinh Nam, a religious prisoner of An Dan Dai Dao with a 16-year sentence, died in Xuyen Moc prison, Ba Ria-Vung Tau province.
Many prisoners and former prisoners have reported that forced labor, malnutrition, and lack of access to healthcare have affected their living conditions. As a result, their health declines rapidly. Many prisoners are also punished with harsh corporal measures.
On August 9, 2022, twenty-seven families of political and religious prisoners issued a joint open letter calling on international human rights organizations and free governments to urge the Vietnamese government to respect the prisoners of conscience’s rights to clean water, safe food, and timely medical care.
The continued mysterious deaths of religious and political prisoners reveal the inhumane treatment of Vietnamese communist prisons and serve as a wake-up call for violations of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners by the Vietnamese government.
We, the undersigned organizations, request the following:
Vietnam Human Rights Network
Defend the Defenders
Vietnam Democracy Federation
Vietnam Democracy Radio
Brotherhood for Democracy
The Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam
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