Vietnam: family member of detained land-right activists summonedEvent
- Viet Nam
- Initial Date
- Mar 25, 2021
- Event Description
Police in Hanoi at the weekend summoned Trinh Ba Khiem—the husband of detained Dong Tam land-rights activist Can Thi Thieu and father of their two sons—ordering him to remove live-stream postings on Facebook they said were defaming the Communist Party.
“They said that the communist regime would arrest me and punish me harshly if I kept putting videos up on social media,” Khiem told RFA, adding that it’s likely now that he will be jailed following the arrests of his wife and sons.
“My wife and children are already in prison, so I’m not frightened at all, even if they jail me for 20 years or if I die in prison,” he said.
During his meeting with police, Khiem asked to see his son Trinh Ba Phuong, who was transferred from a detention center to a state-run psychiatric hospital in early March for “evaluation” after refusing to speak to police investigators – the third prisoner of conscience known to have been sent for psychiatric treatment.
A well-known land-rights activist in Hanoi, Phuong was arrested on June 24, 2020 with his younger brother, Trinh Ba Tu, and his mother, Can Thi Theu, on charges of “creating, storing, and disseminating information, documents, items and publications opposing the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.”
The three family members had been outspoken in social media postings about the Jan. 9, 2020 clash in Dong Tam commune in which 3,000 police stormed barricaded protesters’ homes at a construction site about 25 miles south of the capital, killing a village elder.
Can Thi Theu meanwhile met on Tuesday with a defense lawyer for the first time since her arrest in June, her attorney, Le Luan, wrote on his Facebook page, describing his client as “mentally strong.”
Speaking to RFA on Wednesday, Theu’s daughter Trinh Thi Thao confirmed the meeting, adding she had given Le Luan a letter she had written to her mother, along with photographs of her mother’s four grandchildren.
“The lawyer said that we would meet with Trinh Ba Tu on another day,” she said.
Can Thi Theu had earlier served a 20-month prison term after being convicted in 2016 of “disturbing public order” for joining protests with others over their loss of land which was taken by the government to give to private companies without payment of adequate compensation.
While all land is ultimately held by the state, land confiscations have become a flashpoint as residents accuse the government of pushing small landholders aside in favor of lucrative real estate projects, and of paying too little in compensation to farming families displaced by development.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Intimidation and Threats
- Rights Concerned
- Right to healthy and safe environment
- Family of HRD
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On March 21, 2021, Can Thi Thieu, husband of detained land rights defenders, was summoned, threatened and forced to delete pictures on social media by the police in Hanoi, Vietnam.