Vietnam: Family of Former PoC Pham Thanh Nghien under Police Intimidation
April 1, 2019, 2:24 pm
The family and relatives of former prisoner of conscience Mrs. Pham Thanh Nghien has been harassed and besieged by police in Hai Phong City when she and her husban former political prisoner Huynh Anh Tu and their daughter visited her home city in Dong Hai 1 ward, Hai An district.
From March 25, all her family members were monitored, said Nghien who moved to Ho Chi Minh City after married to Mr. Tu, who spent 14 years in prison in 1999-2014.
Nghien said in the morning of March 26, police in Hai Phong kidnapped former prisoner of conscience Nguyen Ngoc Tuong Thi when he was standing outside the house of Nghien’s parents. Thi, who accompanied Nghien’s couple from HCM City, was brought to the ward police office for a 2-hour-interrogation before being released.
Due to the harassment, Mr. Thi left Hai Phong next day to return to HCM City, dropping his plan to stay longer in the city.
Plainclothes police set up a temporary point near her parents’ house to monitor her family as well as families of her older brother and two older sisters. Undercover policemen also followed one of her nieces and threatened one of her sisters, saying they will request her sister’s employer to sack her.
Faced with the terror unleashed on them by Hai Phong police, Mrs Nghien and her family were extremely fearful and worried.
Mrs Nghien was convicted of “conducting anti-state propaganda” and sentenced to four years in jail for conducting an in-house sitting protest and hanging a banner inside her house that read “The Spratlys archipelago belongs to Vietnam.” She was also targeted for helping the fishing community whose members were shot at and killed by Chinese ships when they operated in their traditional fishing area in the East Sea (South China Sea).
In January 2019, authorities in HCM City destroyed several hundred houses in Loc Hung Vegetables Garden including Nghien couple’s newly built house. They had to rent a place to stay and had to move several times since.