Vietnamese political prisoner Dang Dinh Bach ‘assaulted by jailers’

He earlier told his wife prisoners had entered his cell and threatened him.
By RFA Vietnamese
2023.09.06
Vietnamese political prisoner Dang Dinh Bach ‘assaulted by jailers’ Lawyer and environment activist Dang Dinh Bach.
Provided by family

Political prisoner Dang Dinh Bach has been assaulted by policemen after telling his family he’d been threatened by other inmates, according to fellow inmate Tran Huynh Duy Thuc who was visited by his family this week.

Bach and Thuc both called their families last Thursday to say people dressed as prisoners had entered their cells, threatening them. Thuc said the inmates who entered his cell had a knife.

On Tuesday, Thuc’s family visited him at Prison No.6 in Nghe An province.

Thuc asked his family to record the names and numbers of 7-8 policemen standing around them, saying they were “those who oppressed and made it difficult for him in the camp,” Thuc’s younger brother Tran Huynh Duy Tan told Radio Free Asia.

“Thuc waited until the end of the visit to say the last word to his family, because he knew that when he said this, he would be stopped,” Tan said.

“In the last sentence, shouting loudly to the family, he said, ‘the day Bach called his family on August 31, he was severely assaulted by police officers.’”

The family had previously sent an urgent request for help to Tran Ba Toan -- head of Prison No. 6 – and the People’s Procuracy of Nghe An Province to request immediate implementation of measures to protect life and ensure the safety of the four political prisoners who had been threatened.

After finishing their visit Tuesday, Thuc’s relatives requested to meet Toan to discuss the case but were told he was on a business trip.

Bach suffered a head injury

Dang Dinh Bach is a lawyer and director of the environmental group, the Center for Legal Studies & Policy for Sustainable Development.

He was arrested in July 2021 and later sentenced to five years in prison for tax evasion.

His wife, Tran Phuong Thao, met with him on Tuesday. Thao said her husband was prevented from bringing a notebook to record their conversation.

“Bach showed me his hand. I saw three cuts on the wrist and hand, each about 2-3 centimeters,” she said.

“I asked him what's wrong? Bach said that I have to understand there are many things he cannot say, but he believes I can understand what is going on in here.”

She said Bachh told her he had a bruise on the back of his neck about 7 cm wide and still has a headache, but the staff refused to examine it.

“On August 31, right after the call home, he was hit in the head from behind,” she said.

RFA’s reporter tried to call Prison No. 6 to verify the information, but nobody answered.

Edited by Mike Firn and Taejun Kang. 

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