Family urgently alarms about life of Vietnamese prisoner of conscience Huynh Thuc Vy

HRD Huynh Thuc Vy

Vietnamese prisoner of conscience Huynh Thuc Vy told relatives that she had been beaten and terrorized by criminal prisoners since early October in Gia Trung Prison camp, but the prison authorities have not been taking any measures to prevent the violence against her.

The above information was provided by Mr. Huynh Trong Hieu, Ms. Vy’s younger brother to Radio Free Asia after a meeting on November 9 with representatives of the prison, his sister, and involved criminal prisoners.

As reported, after meeting Ms. Huynh Thuc Vy at the prison camp on October 9, her 6-year-old daughter told her family that she was alerted by her mother about her being beaten by a female guard.

After receiving the news that Vy had been beaten, the family and the lawyer made a petition to the Prison Management Police Department (C10) of Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, the People’s Procuracy of Gia Lai Province, and Gia Trung Prison camp with a request to investigate the incident.

However, during the four-party meeting last Wednesday, Mr. Huynh Trong Hieu was given completely different information by his sister. Mr. Hieu narrated over the phone as follows:

When I met her, I knew the content of the incident was not that the female warden beat her as the child said, but actually Vy was beaten by three criminal prisoners in the prison in front of wardens.”

During the meeting, Ms. Huynh Thuc Vy said that on October 2, she was slapped twice in the face by inmate Le Thi Huyen Anh in the camp’s kitchen because she was not wearing the prison uniform.

Ms. Vy reported this incident to the guards but they refused to settle the case. On the way back to the cell, she was suddenly hit on her nape by the female inmate. When Vy fell, the attacker continued to hold her neck.

In another meeting aimed also to resolve the conflict between the two in the presence of five prison guards, Ms. Vy was strangled by another female offender, Ms. Pham Thi Chien, and another inmate threatened to use a chair to hit her.

Ms. Vy said that these guards did not take any action to prevent the assault of the two criminal prisoners, in addition, the presence of the two criminals mentioned above in the meeting was difficult to understand for the victim and the victim’s brother.

In addition, Ms. Vy was also accused of being threatened by another prisoner who said she will not let Vy leave live from the prison” for more than a month.

Ms. Huynh Thuc Vy, born in 1985, is currently serving a 33-month prison sentence in Gia Trung prison for “insulting the national flag” after she sprayed paint on the red flag with a yellow star to protest against the government and the regime.

According to Ms. Vy, about a week after October 2, the prison side held a mass meeting of prisoners to accuse her of “insulting officials and other inmates,” and asked the inmates to propose a treatment methods. There was absolutely no discussion to protect her or discipline the attackers.

In another working session, Ms. Vy had to sign a record of not accusing Le Thi Huyen Anh under the pressure of Mr. Pham Tat Trung, a representative of Gia Trung prison’s supervisory board, and Mr. Dang Ngoc Son – a representative of prison guards.

Due to the beatings and threats, Ms. Vy was sick and mentally exhausted, Mr. Hieu said.

During the four-party meeting, the prison side only asked Vy and Hieu to sign a written correction to correct the information that Ms. Vy was beaten by the female guard, not to mention ensuring her security.

RFA reporter called the phone number of Gia Trung Prison, in Gia Lai province to verify information, but no one answered.

From the information Ms. Vy provided, Mr. Huynh Trong Hieu suspected there was a plot operated by the camp’s warden through criminal prisoners to harm his sister.

Trade union activist Doan Huy Chuong, who has been detained twice for a total of nine years in prison, now a refugee in Thailand told RFA about his experience in Vietnamese prisons:

Having been imprisoned twice in eight prisons in Vietnam, I was also locked up with criminal prisoners. The use of criminal prisoners by the Vietnamese communist state to oppress prisoners of conscience and political prisoners is common.

I myself have experienced a lot. They used criminal prison to beat prisoners of conscience and then forced us to sign a report that we committed the crime.”

Mr. Huynh Trong Hieu said that his family would file a complaint against Gia Trung Prison’s sophisticated repressive actions against Ms. Huynh Thuc Vy to a number of state agencies and international organizations.

He also called on human rights organizations at home and abroad to intervene to promptly protect his sister’s life.

Huynh Thuc Vy is one of the founding members of the Vietnam Women’s Association for Human Rights, an organization not recognized by the state.

In 2012, Ms. Vy and her father, Mr. Huynh Ngoc Tuan, were awarded the Hellman/Hammett Award by Human Rights Watch (HRW) for their advocacy of human rights.

Six years later, she was sentenced to 2 years and 9 months in prison for the crime of “infringing the national flag“, but her prison sentence was postponed due to being pregnant and raising a child, but she was forced to execute the sentence from late November last year although her baby was still under three years old. (Translated)

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