Nguyen Van Oai

Status: In Jail
Days In Jail: 2645 days
Activity: Citizen journalist; Human rights defender
Birth date: June 18, 1981
Arrest Date: January 19, 2017
Trial Date: September 18, 2017
Appeal Date: January 15, 2018
Sentence: 5 years in prison follow by 4 years house arrest
Charge: Article 257 (Resisting persons on duty)
Article 304 (Failing to execute judgements)
Location: Gia Trung Prison Camp

Nguyen Van Oai is a Vietnamese blogger and former prisoner of conscience who was re-arrested on January 19, 2017 charged for “resisting persons on duty,” failing to execute terms handed to him after “violating his probation.” Oai was previously arrested in 2011 and sentenced to four years in prison and three years probation for “conducting activities aimed at overthrowing the state.” A member of Viet Tan, Oai also founded the Association of Catholic Former Prisoners of Conscience following his release. Prior to his release in 2015, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) released a decision ruling that the arrest of Oai and his colleagues was arbitrary and violated international law. In January 2017, he was seized by a group of men during the night and held incommunicado for 24 hours before a notice of his arrest was given. In a one day trial, Oai was sentenced to five years prison in September 2017. Relatives and international observers were not permitted to enter the courtroom despite the announcement that the hearing would be a ‘public trial’. Police deployed trucks with jamming devices to block cellular service outside the courthouse.

Gia Trung Prison Camp

Activists being held at this prison:

Nguyen Trung Ton
Nguyen Van Oai
Tran Thi Nga

Note on Penal Code provisions:

A revised and expanded penal code took effect January 1, 2018 (known as the “Amended 2015 Penal Code”). While the previous provisions criminalizing political expression remained unchanged, they were renumbered. For instance, Article 79 (attempting to overthrow the government), Article 88 (anti-state propaganda), and Article 258 (abusing democratic rights) were renumbered as Article 109, Article 117, and Article 331, respectively.

For consistency with past media coverage, our database records the Article(s) that the prisoner was charged with (i.e., based on the version of the penal code applicable at the time of the sentencing).


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