Detained RFA Blogger Not Allowed to Receive Supplies in Prison From Wife

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nhat1 Blogger Truong Duy Nhat and his wife and daughter at Vinh airport in 2015
Truong Huy San via Facebook

Detained RFA Blogger Truong Duy Nhat has not been allowed to receive food and other supplies from his family in the Hanoi prison where he is being held, a friend and writer told RFA’s Vietnamese Service on Tuesday.

Nhat disappeared in Bangkok in late January amid fears he was abducted by Vietnamese agents, and two months later was revealed to be in a Hanoi jail, in what legal experts said was a violation of Vietnam’s criminal procedure laws by the country’s police.

Writer Xuan Nguyen Pham and Nhat’s wife, Cao Thi Ngoc Phuong, tried to visit Nhat at Prison T16 in Hanoi on Monday, he wrote on Facebook.

During Phuong’s previous attempt to visit Nhat on March 20, she was not allowed to see him, but was able to leave provisions for him. On Monday, however, she was allowed only to leave some money for him.

“Hoang Thi Vui, the police officer at the prison, told us that they could not let us leave some supplies because they had received an official order from the investigative police,” said Pham.  But the officer could not present a written order for them.

Later on Monday, Phuong went to ask the investigative police office why access was being denied, but did not receive an answer, Pham said.

Under Vietnamese law, police can take three to four months to investigate a detainee, and the process can be extended several months.  In political cases, detainees are not allowed to meet their families or lawyers.

Nhat, a weekly contributor to the Vietnamese service of RFA, a U.S. funded broadcaster, last communicated with Washington-based RFA editors on Jan. 24 over his commentary on the growing opposition movement in Venezuela and the prospects of change in Communist-ruled Vietnam.

He vanished at a shopping mall on the outskirts of Bangkok after going to the Bangkok office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Jan 25.

On March 20, Nhat’s Canada-based daughter, Thuc Doan Truong, told RFA that Phuong was informed by prison authorities that Nhat was arrested on Jan. 28 and thrown into a jail in central Hanoi district on the same day.

Vietnam’s police ministry told reporters at a news conference on March 25, that Nhat was detained for his involvement in a land corruption case at the newspaper where he used to be a bureau chief in the city of Danang in the 1990s.

Reported by RFA's Vietnamese Service. Translated by Viet Ha. Written in English by Paul Eckert.


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