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ICC Note: Mr. Nguyen Van Dai, a human rights lawyer and well-known defender of religious freedom in Vietnam has been held in prison without trial, with limited contact with the outside world, since his Dec 16 2015 arrest. According to Morning Star News, Vietnamese authorities finally charged Nguyen on July 30 with “carrying out activities with the purpose of overthrowing the Peoples’ administration.” If found guilty, Nguyen could face up to 20 years of imprisonment or even death penalty.

08/08/2017 Vietnam (The Gospel Herald) – After 19 long months of investigative detention following his Dec. 16, 2015 arrest, renowned human rights attorney Nguyen Van Dai was finally charged with a crime on July 30.

Vietnamese authorities charged Dai, 35-year-old legal associate Le Thu Ha and four other human rights activists, including Pastor Nguyen Trung Ton, 45, with “carrying out activities with the purpose of overthrowing the Peoples’ administration,” under article 79 of the Penal Code.

The latter four were taken into custody on July 30, according to state news outlets. Sources said they assume their names came from examination of Dai’s computers or were obtained from him by “enhanced interrogation.”

State-run Viet Nam News reported that the Investigative Security Agency of the Ministry of Public Security had commenced legal proceedings against Dai. If found guilty of the serious charge, Dai could face 12 to 20 years in prison or even the death penalty. Officials have labeled him the “instigator.”

Dai has already served eight years in prison and was under house arrest from 2007 to 2015.

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