Vietnam: detained WHRD beaten, threatened (Update)Event
- Viet Nam
- Initial Date
- Oct 2, 2022
- Event Description
Huynh Thuc Vy’s family visited her at Gia Trung Prison in Gia Lai Province on October 9. Her brother, Huynh Trong Hieu, reported that during the last five minutes of the visit, when Vy was allowed to hug her children, she whispered to her six-year-old daughter that she had been “beaten and choked by the neck.” Hieu also said that at the last visit on August 10, Vy slammed the phone on the floor after being told she could not hug her children, but she later said she was not disciplined for it. Hieu said Vy might have been targeted by officials for helping other prisoners, sharing her food with them, giving their families’ phone numbers to Hieu so he could update them about their imprisoned loved ones.
Mrs Vy is serving 33 month-jail in Gia Trung prison, Gia Lai province, for desecrating the flag of communist Vietnam.
In Sept 2022, after a prison visit, her 6-year-old daughter told her family that Mrs Vy said she had been beaten by a prison officer.
Her family lodged a written request to the Police in charge of Prison (C10 unit), Gia Lai public prosecutor office and Gia Trung prison , demanding an investigation into this.
In a face-to-face meeting with prison authorities on Wed (9 Nov), including Mrs Vy and her brother Huynh Trong Hieu, Mr Hieu was told the real story. He relayed it to RFA Viet:
· Ms Vy was not assaulted by the prison officer, but by three criminal prisoners, in front of prison officers.
· In the meeting [on 9 Nov], Ms Vy said that on 2 Oct, a female criminal prisoner named Le Thi Huyen Anh slapped her twice in her face at the prison kitchen, because she didn't wear prison uniform. She told prison officers about this, the prison took no action. On her way back to her cell, this criminal prisoner again, out of the blue, struck her at her nape, when she fell down, that prisoner strangled her.
· In another meeting between Mrs Vy and prisoner Huyen Anh to resolve conflicts, in the presence of 5 prison officers, two additional prisoners were present. One was a female criminal prisoner named Pham Thi Chien who suddenly lunged at her and strangled her, and another prisoner threatened to use a chair to bash her. The prison officers present took no action at what was happening.
· Mr Hieu told RFA Viet, both him and Mrs Vy didn't understand why these two additional were present at the meeting to resolve the conflict between Mrs Vy and prisoner Huyen Anh.
· Mrs Vy also accused that, for over a month now, another prisoner threatened her that she 'won't be alive to return home'.
· About a week after 2 Oct, the prison organised a denunciation session, where Mrs Vy was denounced for 'offending prison officers and other prisoners'; prison officers asked other prisoners to give suggestions how to deal with Mrs Vy. The prison didn't take any action against prisoners who assaulted Mrs Vy, and had no plan to protect her.
· In another working session with prison officers, Mrs Vy was pressured by Mr Pham Tat Trung - representative of Gia Trung prison inspectors - and Mr Dang Ngoc Son - representative of prison officers, to withdraw her complaint against prisoner Le Thi Huyen Anh who slapped her and strangled her.
Having been assaulted and threatened, Mrs Vy became physically ill and mentally exhausted.
In the meeting on 9 Nov where both Mrs Vy and her brother Hieu were present, the prison asked both of them to sign a report, to correct the information regarding Mrs Vy was assaulted by prisoner Huyen Anh; the prison didn't say anything about protecting Mrs Vy's safety.
From the information he gathered so far, Mr Hieu suspected that the prison is plotting to harm Mrs Vy - using other criminal prisoners in their scheme.
Mr Hieu calls on rights organisations to please voice their concern about Mrs Vy's situation, to give her timely protection and save her life.
Mrs Vy is among founders of the independent Vietnamese Women's Association.
Human Rights Watch awarded her and her father the Hellman/Hammet prize in 2012 for their efforts to promote human rights in Vietnam.
Vietnam's laws allow prisoners with young children under 3 years to postpone serving their sentence. However, Mrs Vy was forced to serve her sentence on 30 Nov 2021, even though at that time her youngest child was under 3 years old.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Death threat
- Intimidation and Threats
- Violence (physical)
- Rights Concerned
- Right to healthy and safe environment
- Pro-democracy defender
- Monitoring Status
- Summary for Publications
On 2 October 2022, Huynh Thuc Vy, prominent pro-democracy WHRD, was beaten and threatened by other prisoners, with the inaction of prison guards in Gia Trung prison, Gia Lai Province, Vietnam.