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Vietnam-Update: Ill-treatment in detention of human rights defender Ms Tran Thi Thuy
Ms Tran Thi Thuy, a land rights activist and member of Viet Tan, is being subjected to ill-treatment in detention.
Stomach injuries inflicted by security police prior to her trial have yet to heal and despite her weakened state, she has has been subjected to forced labour. Long hours of husking and skinning cashew nuts have caused caustic burns on her skin, and she has repeatedly suffered fainting spells. The human rights defender has been denied medical attention in spite of her repeated requests for urgent care.
Furthermore, the authorities have utilised common criminals who are detained together with Tran Thi Thuy to intimidate her, and her family was not notified when she was recently moved to prison camp K5 Long Khanh in Dong Nai province. It is reported that the ill-treatment of Tran Thi Thuy is solely motivated by her refusal of the repeated offers of the prison guards of lighter punishment in return for a confession of guilt.
On 30 May 2011, in a closed, one-day tribunal, Tran Thi Thuy was sentenced to eight years imprisonment for violating Article 79 of the Vietnamese Penal Code which prohibits “attempting to overthrow the socialist government”, based on her human rights activities. Prior to her imprisonment, Tran Thi Thuy actively defended the rights of those whose land had been taken by local Government officials. A large number of the population have been dispossessed of their property over the years and in the majority of cases the farmers affected have not been compensated. In September 2011, the UN Working Group on arbitrary detention ruled that the detention of Tran Thi Thuy was arbitrary and in violation of international law.
Front Line Defenders calls on the Vietnamese authorities to quash the conviction of Tran Thi Thuy and to effect her immediate and unconditional release. Front Line Defenders reiterates its call on the authorities to take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Tran Thi Thuy, as well as the other human rights defenders who were sentenced on 30 May 2011, in detention.
For further information on this case, please see the original Front Line Defenders Urgent Appeal, dated 27 May 2011, Vietnam – Trial of seven human rights defenders currently being held incommunicado to take place on 30 May HERE.
You can find additional information on the situation for human rights Defenders in Vietnam . HERE