Vietnam: Dai and Nhan

On November 13, 2006 Nguyen Van Dai, a lawyer, reported that he had been interrogated by police for days in the run up to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders' Summit which was held in Hanoi, Vietnam, in November 2006. It is believed that the main reason for the interrogations is that two anonymous letters were sent to the authorities accusing Van Dai of plotting an attack.  


On November 14, 2006, ten security police officers surrounded the home of Nguyen Van Dai.  They posted signs marked 'No Foreigners.'  They prohibited all visitors to the home until the last day of the Summit.  Nguyen Van Dai is the founder of the "Committee for Human Rights in Vietnam." A number of other activists were threatened, physically assaulted and subjected to interrogations.


Nguyen Van Dai regularly posts pro-democracy essays on websites based abroad.  For instance, in June 2006, he wrote an article on the "right to found a party in Vietnam" for the BBC's Vietnamese language website.  This immediately led to a summons from the police.


Shortly before his arrest in March 2007, Nguyen Van Dai began a blog on the Reporters without Borders Blog platform, where he posted his essay on political parties.


On March 6, 2007, security forces raided the home of Nguyen Van Dai, and placed him under arrest.   Nguyen Van Dai was charged with "conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam".


On April 19, 2007, the Monitoring Group decided to recommend an intervention in the case of Nguyen Van Dai. Following that decision, reports were released indicating that on May 11, 2007, two lawyers, Mr. Nguyen Van Dai and Ms. Le Thi Cong Nhan, a lawyer and spokesperson for the Progression Party, were sentenced to harsh prison sentences by the Ha Noi People's Court. Mr. Nguyen Van Dai was sentenced to 5 years in prison and 4 years house arrest and Ms. Le Thi Cong Nhan to 4 years in prison and 3 years house arrest, for "spreading propaganda against the State". In August 2007, the Law Society sent letters of intervention to Vietnamese authorities.


Letter of Intervention