Political prisoner Tran Thi Nga was transferred to a distant prison in Vietnam without informing her family, her partner, Phan Van Phong, told RFA's Vietnamese Service on Wednesday
Nga’s transfer is the second case this week in which a Vietnamese political prisoner has been moved to a jails far from his or her hometown, apparently to increase their isolation and make it difficult for family and friends to visit them.
“Ha Nam province had told me before that she would be transferred to Dak Trung. However ,when I went to Dak Trung, they told me they could not handle political prisoners so they transferred her to Gia Trung prison, where other female activists were held before,” Phong told RFA by telephone.
Gia Long Province, where she is now incarcerated, is more than 1,000 km (620 miles) from Ha Nam.
“At Gia Trung prison, they were polite and nice to me. They told me that Tran Thi Nga has been there and she is in good health. Her place is clean. They told me she came about 1 month ago and has gained about 3 kg,” said Phong.
“However, they told me that Tran Thi Nga has not cooperated so she is not allowed to see her family. I was sad that we could not see her,” he added.
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.
On Monday the wife of prisoner of conscience Nguyen Van Oai said he had been moved to a prison far from his hometown without notifying his family,
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.
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.