Frontline Defenders – Vietnam: Second attack on human rights defender Mr Nguyen Bac Truyen

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On 24 February 2014, at approximately 2:30pm, human rights defender Mr Nguyen Bac Truyen, along with his wife, was attacked by undercover policemen as they made their way to the Australian embassy in Hanoi. This is the second serious attack against the human rights defender this month.

Nguyen Bac Truyen provides free legal assistance to victims of land grabs, and campaigns for multi-party democracy. He has also campaigned for the release of human rights defender Mr Le Quoc Quan, and has spent time in jail on charges of “anti-state propaganda”. He was released on probation in 2010.

Nguyen Bac Truyen had been invited to the Australian embassy on 24 February 2014, in order to provide information on the recent attack and unlawful arrest against him by Dong Thap police, amongst other human rights issues. As the couple passed the intersection of Dao Tan and Lieu Giai in a taxi, three men stopped and assaulted the driver, and then attacked the human rights defender. Passers-by managed to stop the violence by informing the driver and the couple that the men were actually plain-clothes policemen. The human rights defender and his wife then fled to the Australian embassy, where the diplomat who had invited them escorted them to Hanoi Family Medical Clinic for examination. It has been reported that undercover policemen monitored all of these movements closely, and that they have been monitoring and harassing the couple for some time.

On 9 February 2014, police reportedly fired gunshots at and stormed the human rights defender’s then-fiancée’s home in Dong Thap, where the couple were staying before their wedding. Nguyen Bac Truyen was assaulted, blindfolded and handcuffed before being arrested by police and government agents. The human rights defender’s fiancée was also briefly detained, and his laptop and mobile phone were confiscated. Nguyen Bac Truyen was detained on charges of alleged theft, but was released 24 hours later.

The Vietnamese government recently came under fire at the UN Human Rights Council during its Universal Periodic Review over its treatment of government critics, activists, bloggers and human rights defenders such as Nguyen Bac Truyen. There were also reports that some human rights defenders had been prevented from travelling to Geneva for the review.

Front Line Defenders is concerned that the attack by state security forces on Nguyen Bac Truyen and his wife was directly related to his peaceful and legitimate work in defence of human rights in Vietnam, and condemns it as such. Front Line Defenders is further concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of of Nguyen Bac Truyen and his family.

http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/25192

Take action on behalf of human rights defenders in Vietnam.

Copy the enclosed letter and send it to the address provided.

Thank you for taking action.

Target adresses:
Mr Nguyen Tan Dung
Prime Minister
Government Office
1 Hoang Hoa Tham Street
Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi Viet Nam
Fax: +84 80 44130/ +84 80 44940
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister

Letter:
Your Excellency,

On 24 February 2014, at approximately 2:30pm, human rights defender Mr Nguyen Bac Truyen, along with his wife, was attacked by undercover policemen as they made their way to the Australian embassy in Hanoi. This is the second serious attack against the human rights defender this month.

Nguyen Bac Truyen provides free legal assistance to victims of land grabs, and campaigns for multi-party democracy. He has also campaigned for the release of human rights defender Mr Le Quoc Quan, and has spent time in jail on charges of “anti-state propaganda”. He was released on probation in 2010.

Nguyen Bac Truyen had been invited to the Australian embassy on 24 February 2014, in order to provide information on the recent attack and unlawful arrest against him by Dong Thap police, amongst other human rights issues. As the couple passed the intersection of Dao Tan and Lieu Giai in a taxi, three men stopped and assaulted the driver, and then attacked the human rights defender. Passers-by managed to stop the violence by informing the driver and the couple that the men were actually plain-clothes policemen. The human rights defender and his wife then fled to the Australian embassy, where the diplomat who had invited them escorted them to Hanoi Family Medical Clinic for examination. It has been reported that undercover policemen monitored all of these movements closely, and that they have been monitoring and harassing the couple for some time.

On 9 February 2014, police reportedly fired gunshots at and stormed the human rights defender’s then-fiancée’s home in Dong Thap, where the couple were staying before their wedding. Nguyen Bac Truyen was assaulted, blindfolded and handcuffed before being arrested by police and government agents. The human rights defender’s fiancée was also briefly detained, and his laptop and mobile phone were confiscated. Nguyen Bac Truyen was detained on charges of alleged theft, but was released 24 hours later.

The Vietnamese government recently came under fire at the UN Human Rights Council during its Universal Periodic Review over its treatment of government critics, activists, bloggers and human rights defenders such as Nguyen Bac Truyen. There were also reports that some human rights defenders had been prevented from travelling to Geneva for the review.

I am concerned that the attack by state security forces on Nguyen Bac Truyen and his wife was directly related to his peaceful and legitimate work in defence of human rights in Vietnam, and condemns it as such. I am further concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of Nguyen Bac Truyen and his family.

I urge the authorities in Vietnam to:

1. Carry out a thorough, impartial and immediate investigation into the attacks against Nguyen Bac Truyen and his wife, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

2. Take steps to guarantee at all times the physical and psychological integrity of Nguyen Bac Truyen and all members of his family;

3. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Vietnam are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.

Yours sincerely,

http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/25192/action

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