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VIETNAM: Activists Released

Vietnamese lawyer and pro-democracy activist Nguyen Van Dai and his colleague Le Thu Hua were released from prison into exile on 7 June and were allowed to fly to Germany.

On 5 April, Nguyen Van Dai, Le Thu Ha and four other activists were sentenced to between 7 and 15 years in prison following their conviction on charges of ‘carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the government’ under Article 79 of the Vietnamese penal code.

Mr Dai, a Christian human rights lawyer and founder of the Brotherhood for Democracy, received the longest sentence of 15 years in prison and a further five years under house arrest.

Nguyen Van Dai has provided legal advice and representation to victims of human rights abuses, including religious minorities, across Vietnam. As a result of his work, Dai has been repeatedly harassed and attacked by individuals working for the authorities and had previously served four years in prison. He and Le Thu Hua were arrested on 16 December 2015. At the time of his arrest, Dai was preparing to meet European Union representatives who were in Hanoi for the annual EU-Vietnam human rights dialogue.

The four other human rights defenders tried on 5 April alongside Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thu Hua had their sentences upheld in an appeal trial on 4 June.

Neither the Vietnamese government nor the German Foreign Ministry has commented on Dai’s release.

Sources: Christian Solidarity Worldwide, DW

  • Thank the Lord for the release of Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thu Hua. Pray He will help them to overcome their difficult time in prison and adjust to a new life in a very different culture.
  • Pray they will be given opportunities to continue to assist those in need.
  • Ask God to strengthen and comfort the four others who remain in prison. Pray for their release.
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