Vietnamese Political Prisoner Tran Thi Nga Back in Touch With Family

vietnam-nga-072517.jpg Tran Thi Nga is shown at her sentencing in Ha Nam, Vietnam, July 25, 2017.
Nhandan News

Vietnamese political prisoner Tran Thi Nga, after having been cut off from seeing her family for several months as part of disciplinary measures, was able to call her husband this week and a family visit to her in jail may take place next week, her husband told RFA’s Vietnamese service on Wednesday.

A human rights defender noted in Vietnam for her online activism, Nga, 40, was sentenced on July 25 to nine years in prison for spreading "propaganda against the state" under Article 88 of Vietnam’s penal code, a provision frequently used to silence dissident bloggers and other activists. Her appeal was rejected in December.

Nga’s husband, Phan Van Phong, told RFA he spoke to her for five minutes on Tuesday.

“First of all, she complained about my note advising her to accept wearing prison attire so that she would be allowed to see relatives. She told me not do that anymore, as she knows how to behave,” Phong said.

“Then she asked about the health of all relatives and talked with our kids,” he added.

Last month Phong had received a phone call from an anonymous woman who said she was Nga’s cellmate and had just been released. The woman said Nga was not allowed to see her family or to use her monthly five-minute phone call to her husband.

No reason was given for Nga’s punishment, but Phong said that prison authorities had told him before that Nga always displayed a “protest attitude” since she was brought to her current prison.

On Wednesday Phong also said authorities indicated that he and the couple’s two children would be able to meet Nga.

Phong said he was planning a trip to faraway Gia Trung Prison on June 12 for a family reunion.

In March, Nga was transferred to a distant prison -- a prison in Gia Long Province, more than 1,000 km (620 miles) from her home in Ha Nam -- without informing her family. Such transfers are apparently designed by authorities to increase prisoners’ isolation and make it difficult for family and friends to visit them.

Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by An Nguyen. Written in English by Paul Eckert.


Add your comment by filling out the form below in plain text. Comments are approved by a moderator and can be edited in accordance with RFAs Terms of Use. Comments will not appear in real time. RFA is not responsible for the content of the postings. Please, be respectful of others' point of view and stick to the facts.