Viet Tan Alert
July 24 2018
Vietnamese authorities have set a trial date for blogger and community organizer Le Dinh Luong following a year of detention.
Authorities in Nghe An province in central Vietnam informed his lawyer that the trial is set for July 30. Le Dinh Luong, 53, was detained on July 24, 2017 and charged with “attempting to overthrow the state.”
A veteran of Vietnam’s border war with China in 1983, Le Dinh Luong is a citizen journalist. Writing primarily on Facebook under the pen name Lo Ngoc, Luong reported on sensitive issues such as the government’s mishandling of the Formosa environmental disaster.
Within the Catholic community in Nghe An province, Luong mobilized parents to protest unjust school fees, farmers to oppose exorbitant taxes, and fishermen to demand compensation following the Formosa disaster.
Because of his activism, Le Dinh Luong was targeted by security police, even before his arrest. In August 2015, plainclothes police attacked Luong and several other activists as they visited the home of a recently released political prisoner. Luong suffered serious injuries to his head, face and body.
According to his family, Le Dinh Luong has been held incommunicado since his arrest and denied family visitation rights. His wife Nguyen Thi Quy said that local authorities have refused her repeated requests to see her husband and that Luong continues to be denied access to his attorney.
“The Vietnamese government are the true violators of Vietnamese law, seriously violating human rights and various international covenants to which Vietnam is a signatory,” she said.
Le Dinh Luong’s upcoming trial comes as the Vietnamese government has arrested and sentenced numerous bloggers and human rights defenders to lengthy prison terms.