Breaking news: Activist Nguyen Bac Truyen on his way to Germany



Mr. Nguyen Bac Truyen went to trial in 2007

Thanks to the efforts of the German federal government, Mr. Nguyen Bac Truyen, 55 years old, was released from prison on Friday, September 8, 2023, after 6 years in prison, and is on his way to Germany from prison, where he was imprisoned with a sentence of 11 years in prison and 3 years of probation for “Activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s government.”


The plane carrying Mr. Truyen and his wife is expected to land in Germany this Friday evening.


A spokesperson for the German Foreign Ministry confirmed the news to and said: “We welcome the release of this human rights activist. This is an important humanitarian move by the Hanoi government.”


According to known information, German Foreign Minister Annalene Baerbock raised the issue of Mr. Truyen’s release with her Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son during talks in Berlin last September.


Mr. Nguyen Bac Truyen is a Hoa Hao Buddhist, a member of the Friendship Association of Prisoners of Conscience and the Brotherhood for Democracy.


In 2006, Mr. Truyen was arrested and later sentenced to 3 years and 6 months in prison for “propaganda against the state” in 2007.


Released from prison in 2010, Mr. Truyen continued to work for promoting human rights and democracy. On July 30, 2017, Nguyen Bac Truyen was arrested along with three other members of the “Brotherhood for Democracy” including Pham Van Troi, Nguyen Trung Ton and Truong Minh Duc.


On June 4, 2018, Nguyen Bac Truyen was sentenced to 11 years in prison and 3 years of probation for “activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s government.”


Immediately afterwards, Congresswoman Gyde Jensen, Chairwoman of the Human Rights Committee of the German Parliament, adopted Mr. Truyen in the “Congressmen Protecting Congressmen” program of the German Federal Parliament, a program has been extended to protect Human Rights Defenders around the world, not just elected officials.


Lawyer Nguyen Bac Truyen is the first case Ms. Jensen chose to adopt in this program.


Explaining why she chose to adopt Mr. Truyen, who was recently convicted in Vietnam, Congresswoman Jensen said Mr. Truyen’s case “represents human rights issues.” And through this program of the German Federal Parliament, German legislators want people not to forget  Nguyen Bac Truyen.


Nguyen Bac Truyen was awarded the “2020 Stefanus Award” by the Stefanus Alliance International in Norway because he fought to promote freedom of belief and protect religious minorities, despite dangerous to himself and his family. He did so not only with his Hoa Hao Buddhism, but also with other religions.


Since then, Mr. Nguyen Bac Truyen has been known as “a fighter for the rights of people with religious beliefs, despite the dangers to individuals and families.”


Before the Stefanus International Alliance, Human Rights Watch (HRW) honored Nguyen Bac Truyen with the Hellman/Hammett award in 2011.


In addition, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) also called on Vietnam to release Mr. Truyen. Vice President of USCIRF, Ms. Anurima Bhargava, has sponsored Mr. Truyen since 2019 through the Commission’s “Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project.”


Hieu Ba Linh –