Thái Văn Dung

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In this Vietnamese name, the family name is Thái. According to Vietnamese custom, this person should properly be referred to by the given name Dung.
Thái Văn Dung
Born 1992
Nationality Vietnamese
Known for Democracy Activism
Home town Diễn Châu District, Nghệ An Province

Thái Văn Dung is a Vietnamese activist of the Catholic Church. He was arrested in Vietnam on 19 August 2011, sentenced to 4 years of prison and 4 years of house arrest. [1]


2011 arrest

Dung was arrested on August 19, 2011 in Hanoi, Vietnam. He was charged with conspiracy to overthrow the Vietnamese government under clause 2, Article 79 of the Criminal Code. [2] The arrest happened during the 2011 crackdown on Vietnamese youth activists, which included 17 other Vietnamese youth activists.

Between July 2011 and December 2011 a series of young Christian Vietnamese activists, primarily located in northern province of Nghệ An, Vietnam, and working with the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, were arrested by the Vietnamese government for protesting for land rights and circulating a petition to free prominent legal rights activist Cu Huy Ha Vu, a prominent human rights defender who was imprisoned for seven years in April 2011.

2013 conviction

On January 8–9, 2013, 14 Catholic and Protestant activists, one of whom was Thái Văn Dung, stood before the People’s Court of Nghệ An Province on trial. All were sentenced to 3–13 years in prison on charges of subversion. [2] Dung was accused of maintaining ties with Viet Tan, a US-based pro-democracy organization to establish democracy and reform Vietnam through peaceful and political means. [3]

2015 release

On August 19, 2015, Thai Van Dung was released. [4] After 4 years of imprisonment, he confessed “I will bring awareness on the suppressed freedoms of religion and human rights people face in prison”. [1] Dung claims he will continue to protest for Vietnam democracy and is mentally prepared to face prison again. [4]

Treatment in prison

He was transferred between K3, K5, and K6 prisons and was locked in rooms between 7-9 square meters. On two occasions, Dung was disciplined for disobeying prison officials' orders because he starved himself after they denied him access to newspapers, radio, TV, and an electric fan. [1] He repeatedly requested human rights and freedom of religion from prison officials, and protested the harsh treatment throughout his time in prison. [5] At the same time, authorities continued to pressure him to confess his crime every 3 months. [4]

See also

On January 8–9, 2013 a trial was held by the People's Court of Nghệ An Province, Vietnam for 14 democracy activists, primarily belonging to the Catholic church, including high-profile blogger Paulus Le Son. All of them were sentenced to 3–13 years in prison on charges of subversion. Many human rights organizations have called this the "largest case of its kind" in Vietnam, and condemned the sentence. Many organizations, including the US Embassy in Vietnam, have called for an immediate release of the dissidents.

Human rights in Vietnam

Human rights in Vietnam have long been a matter of much controversy between the Government of Vietnam and some international human rights organizations and Western governments, particularly that of the United States. Under the current constitution, the Communist Party of Vietnam is the only one allowed to rule, the operation of all other political parties being outlawed. Other human rights issues concern freedom of association, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press.

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  1. 1 2 3 Thái Văn Dung. Interview by Thanh Lan. Chân Trời Mới Media, 22 August 2015, "CTM Đặc Biệt Thái Văn Dung" Accessed 12 August 2016.
  2. 1 2 "Vietnam: Release Convicted Activists - Drop Charges Against Blogger Le Quoc Quan". Human Rights Watch. 2013-01-09. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  3. Alistair Coe (2009-11-12). "Alistair commends Vietnam pro-democracy movement". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 "Hai tù nhân lương tâm Trần Minh Nhật và Thái Văn Dung mãn án tù" (in Vietnamese). Reporters Without Borders. 27 August 2015.
  5. "Tù nhân lương tâm Thái Văn Dung sẽ tiếp tục đấu tranh công khai" (in Vietnamese). Saigon Broadcasting Television Network. 19 August 2015.