Veteran Vietnamese human rights activist and political prisoner Nguyen Quang Hong Nhan and his wife are back in Vietnam after being expelled from Germany this week following an unsuccessful effort to apply for political asylum in Canada, his daughter told RFA’s Vietnamese service.
Nhan and his wife were expelled from Germany on March 26 after a raid on their residence by German police, who took them to the airport, daughter Nguyen Quang Hong An, told RFA on March 27.
“A group of about six or seven police came in, then more than 10 policemen came, and said nothing except we have to leave. I tried my best to ask them why, and they said there was an order to expel my father back to Vietnam and asked my parents to leave immediately,” said An by telephone from Germany.
“I did not understand why it was so, and I asked them where the decision was from. They showed me a paper but in such a quick manner that I could not read anything,” she said.
“My father was very shocked. He had wanted to contact Canada but could not, and the police kept shouting so he could not do anything. My father collapsed in shock,” said An.
“He has a number of ailments, so I asked them to let him see the doctor and get medication. They promised me they would help, but they took my parents directly to Munich, and put them on the plane,” she added.
An said she went to police headquarters and the immigration department in Nuremburg to ask for information, and learned that her parents had been handed over to the Vietnamese police in Hanoi.
“I contacted my father in Vietnam, and he said that the police had interrogated him, and he became very low-spirited. After that, wherever they took my father to, I don't know,” she told RFA.
The German Federal Immigration Service refused to answer questions from RFA about the case of Nhan and his wife, citing an obligation to protect personal information during the asylum procedure.
RFA called the Vietnamese Embassy in Germany but was unable to get through.
Nhan and his family came to Germany in 2015 and asked for refugee status. Nhan applied for asylum in Canada at Ottawa’s embassy in Austria.
However, his family’s application for documents to travel to Vienna to be interviewed by Canadian officials was rejected several days before police came to deport Nhan and his wife.
Nhan is a human rights activist who was imprisoned by the Vietnamese government. In 1979, he was charged in Vietnamese courts with "propaganda against the revolution" and “organizing to send students and students abroad.”
The repatriation of Nhan and his wife comes amid an increasingly severe crackdown on journalists, bloggers, and human rights activists by Vietnam’s one-party communist government.
Nguyen Kim Binh of the Vietnam Human Rights Network said in December that Vietnam was detaining more than 200 political prisoners—surpassing figures tallied by Western human rights NGOs.
Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by An Ngyen. Written in English by Paul Eckert.