Vietnamese police have been harassing a former prisoner of conscience launched from jail in December 2022 after serving most of a five-year sentence on prices of distributing supplies in opposition to the state and taking part in protests in opposition to the federal government.
Nguyen Thi Ngoc Suong, 55, informed Radio Free Asia on Friday, that the harassment started after she attended the appeals trial of activists Nguyen Thai Hung and his partner, Vu Thi Kim Hoang, on the Folks’s Courtroom within the southern province of Dong Nai on March 29. Authorities requested her to go away the courtroom.
On Friday, Dinh Quan district police summoned her and warned her to not attend different trials. Additionally they stated policemen would verify on her typically.
“Not too long ago, the police have watched me very carefully,” Suong informed Radio Free Asia after she met with police. “They got here to see me proper after I returned house [from the trial]. They stated I used to be not allowed to do that.”
On the finish of the assembly, a police officer informed her: “I’ll go to you each couple of days.”
Suong stated she didn’t keep in mind the officer’s identify as a result of he was not sporting a reputation badge.
When RFA contacted Dinh Quan district police to confirm the knowledge, a staffer requested for the identify of the officer for verification.
Suong, who stated her well being has been deteriorating since her launch, was convicted in Might 2019 below Article 117 of Vietnam’s penal code. The article, which criminalizes “making, storing, distributing or disseminating info, paperwork and gadgets” in opposition to the state. Violators could be sentenced to from 5 to twenty years in jail.
Suong was freed final Dec. 13 sick, 10 months earlier than her jail time period ended.
Well being points whereas detained
Whereas in jail, Suong had a number of bodily illnesses, together with liver and kidney swelling, elevated liver enzymes, a bacterial an infection in her abdomen and thyroid points.
The one therapy she acquired was the drugs that jail officers gave to all inmates to deal with numerous ailments.
“Once I took them, my situation obtained worse,” Suong stated. “I keep in mind one time I couldn’t communicate as a result of my physique was swollen from high to toe, together with my mouth and tongue.”
Suong stated she believes her well being deteriorated as a result of she had been subjected to pressured labor at Dong Nai police’s B5 momentary detention facility the place she was held in the course of the investigation interval, and later at An Phuoc Jail, the place she was held after an appeals trial. She produced votive paper choices with out protecting gear.
Suong additionally stated she had not been paid for her labor, although Vietnamese regulation stipulates that inmates ought to obtain some compensation for labor they carry out in jail.
Whereas she was on the momentary detention facility from October 2018 to early December 2019, Suong’s household needed to bribe staffers so they might get provides to her, although she by no means acquired them after the funds have been made, she stated.
When Suong had a medical verify after she was launched, her physician stated she was very weak and it will be troublesome for her to enhance her bodily situation as a result of she took an excessive amount of ache reliever in earlier years.
RFA couldn’t attain officers at Dong Nai police or An Phuoc Jail for remark.
Arrested and charged in 2018
Suong was arrested together with activist Vu Thi Dung in October 2018, and so they have been each dropped at court docket in the identical case for utilizing totally different Fb accounts to observe movies and browse articles containing anti-state content material.
They each allegedly referred to as for protests in opposition to draft legal guidelines on the creation of latest particular financial zones and cybersecurity, and have been stated to have incited locals folks to take to the streets.
The indictment additionally stated that Dung had produced anti-state leaflets and requested Suong to distribute them at 4 totally different locations in Dinh Quan city of Dong Nai province.
Dung was sentenced to 6 years in jail and can full her jail time period this month.
Suong acquired the Tran Van Ba Award for 2021-2022 together with 4 different Vietnamese activists — Nguyen Thuy Hanh, Huynh Thuc Vy, Vo An Don and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hanh.
Named for a Vietnamese dissident and freedom fighter executed in 1985 on prices of treason and intent to overthrow the federal government, the award is given yearly to Vietnamese in Vietnam in recognition of their brave motion for freedom, democracy, justice and independence for his or her nation.
Translated by Anna Vu for RFA Vietnamese. Edited by Roseanne Gerin and Matt Reed.