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SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM:
HEALTH OF PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE CRITICAL

Update info:
30 Nov 2018
Country:
SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Subject:
Nguyễn Văn Túc
Gender m/f: male
Period:
27 Dec 2018
Distribution date:
30 Nov 2018
UA No:
195/2018

Nguyễn Văn Túc health is quickly deteriorating to the point where he is fainting on a daily basis, yet the authorities continue to deny him adequate medical treatment and have moved him to a remote prison, making family visits much more difficult. Determined to be a prisoner of conscience, Nguyễn Văn Túc should be immediately and unconditionally released.

Nguyễn Văn Túc was arrested in September 2017 for his alleged “attempt to overthrow the government”. On 10 April 2018, the local court convicted and sentenced him to thirteen years in prison and three years house arrest on release. The appeal court upheld the verdict and sentence in September 2018 making his final sentence one of the heaviest ever imposed upon a peaceful activist in the country.

Nguyễn Văn Túc, 55, faces alarming health concerns including a heart condition which can make him faint up to three times a day, haemorrhoids making his anus bleed constantly and the rapid deterioration of his eyesight. Despite having requested immediate medical treatment many times, the prison authorities have never responded.

On 8 November 2018, when Nguyễn Văn Túc’s wife went to visit her husband as scheduled, the prison guards told her that he had been moved to another prison located 400 kilometres away. Four days later, after making the five-hour trip to the new prison, she was only able to meet with him after begging the prison guards. After the visit she expressed her alarm at the deterioration of Nguyễn Văn Túc’s health and continues to worry about his well-being

Vietnamese authorities often move prisoners of conscience to remote locations as a form punishment. Thanh Hóa province, where Nguyễn Văn Túc is currently being held, is well-known for its harsh weather with extremely hot summers and freezing winters in mountainous area. With food described as “horrible” by former prisoners, and prisoners being forced to sleep on a cement bed with only a thin blanket in winter.

Nguyễn Văn Túc is a member of a non-registered organization called Brotherhood for Democracy whose stated agenda is promoting a multi-party system in Vietnam. The Vietnamese government has consistently punished harshly those challenge its power, however peacefully.

In 2017, the Vietnamese government carried out a crackdown on Brotherhood for Democracy and arrested seven of its members, having arrested its founder, human rights lawyer Nguyễn Văn Đài, in December 2015.

Nguyễn Văn Túc is a prisoner of conscience for the second time, having previously served four years (2008-12) in prison after being convicted under Article 88 of the Penal Code for “propaganda against the state,”. He has been active in human rights, pro-democracy, and maritime sovereignty activism.

Take action

Please write immediately in English, Vietnamese or your own language, urging the authorities to:

  • Immediately provide adequate medical treatment to Nguyễn Văn Túc in full accordance with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules);
  • Release Nguyễn Văn Túc immediately and unconditionally as he is a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for exercising his rights to freedom of peaceful association and expression;
  • Ensure that pending his release, Nguyễn Văn Túc is protected from torture and other ill-treatment including through deliberate denial of adequate medical treatment.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 27 DECEMBER 2018 TO:
State President
Nguyễn Phú Trọng
Số 2 Hùng Vương, Ngọc Hồ, Ba Đình,
Hà Nội 118708, Vietnam
Fax : +844 437 335 256
Email : webmaster@president.gov.vn
Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Public Security
Tô Lâm
44 Yết Kiêu - Hoàn Kiếm - Hà Nội.
Fax: +844 382 318 72
c/o Ministry of Foreign Affair
Email : tuyentruyenbc@mofa.gov.vn
Salutation : Dear Minister

And copies to:
Minister of Foreign Affair
Phạm Bình Minh
7 Chu Van An street,
Ba Dinh district, Hanoi
Fax : +84-24-3823 4137
Email : tuyentruyenbc@mofa.gov.vn

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.