A Vietnamese blogger was jailed and sentenced to 11 years in prison for writing articles critical of the Vietnamese government showing signs of poor health and mental deterioration in the prison he moved to last week, his wife said. on Monday.
Nguyen Tuong Thuy, an independent journalist and former RFA Vietnam Services blogger, was relocated April 15 from Bo La Detention Center in Binh Duong Province to An Phuoc Detention Center in the same province.
After visiting Thuy in An Phuoc on Saturday, Nguyen Thi Lan wrote on her Facebook page that her husband had lost weight and looked thin and thin. Lan wrote.
“While talking to me, he often stutters and forgets things easily. He usually takes a lot of time to think before he says something, ”she said.
Thuy, 71 years old, older than many other inmates detained at Bo La and often lined up at the end when the prison canteen was open to buy food, a fellow inmate who was released to An Phuoc before Thuy told family members. .
Thuy was also hindered in performing everyday tasks at Bo La due to hand injuries when the police took his phone away from him at the time he was arrested, sources said.
Lan said that her conditions are better than in An Phuoc, where he currently shares a cell with a television, fan and tiled floor with two other prisoners – one from the Central Highlands of Vietnam and a follower. Hoa Hao Buddhism, a religious group, is frequently harassed. of the communist rulers.
Lan writes that she hopes her husband’s health will now improve at his new prison.
Thuy, who has blogged on civil rights and freedom of expression issues for RFA’s Vietnam Agency for six years, was sentenced on January 5 along with two other bloggers – such as Thuy a member of the Home Association. newspaper Independence Vietnam – was sentenced to long term imprisonment at the same time.
Arrested in May 2020, Thuy was prosecuted along with Pham Chi Dung and Le Huu Minh Tuan on November 10 for “making, storing and disseminating anti-state documents and materials” according to Article 117 of the Ministry. Vietnamese Criminal Law.
Being sentenced to Thuy, Pham Chi Dung was sentenced to 15 years in prison, while Le Huu Minh Tuan was 11 years in prison. Dung was transferred from Bo La to An Phuoc on March 29.
Thuy’s lawyer later refused to appeal his sentence, tearing up a petition that was given to him after the guards told him to write something on it, Thuy’s lawyer told RFA in a previous report. there.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranks Vietnam 175/180 on the World Press Freedom Index 2020. Around 25 journalists and bloggers are being held in Vietnamese prisons, “where often mistreated, ”said the Paris-based monitoring group.
Vietnam’s already low tolerance to dissent worsened last year with a series of arrests of independent journalists, publishers, and Facebook characters as authorities continued. persistent blocking of critics ahead of the ruling Communist Party Congress in January. But arrests continue into 2021.
Report by RFA Vietnamese Service. Translation by Anna Vu. Written in English by Richard Finney.