Vietnam Transfers Political Prisoner Nguyen Van Oai to Remote Jail


2018-03-19
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vietnam-oai-011618.jpg Nguyen Van Oai calls for the release of jailed pro-democracy lawyer Nguyen Van Dai in an undated photo.
Viet Tan

Vietnamese authorities have transferred prisoner of conscience Nguyen Van Oai to a remote prison far from his wife and hometown without notifying his family, his wife told RFA's Vietnamese Service on Monday.

"Oai is now in prison in Gia Trung of Gia Lai province," his wife Linh Chau told RFA.

"He is with other political prisoners and they make him do hard labor," she said by telephone.

Chau said the family did not get any notice from authorities about this transfer from a prison in Nghe An province, where he was serving five years, to Gia Trung, some five hours away.

Vietnamese authorities have been known to move political prisoners far from their homes to make it difficult for family and friends to visit them.

Oai, 36, had been sentenced in September 2017 to five years, with an additional four years to be served under house arrest, after allegedly violating the terms of his probation after serving an earlier prison term for “attempting to overthrow” Vietnam’s government under Article 79 of the country’s penal code.

Article 79 is one of a number of vague statutes that authorities often use to detain writers and bloggers who criticize the country’s communist government and its policies.  .

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

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