Viet Nam must immediately release human rights defenders Nguyễn Văn Đài and Lê Thu Hà

The ongoing incommunicado detention of human rights defenders Nguyễn Văn Đài and Lê Thu Hà must end, said today seven human rights groups, including the ICJ. It violates their right to freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

All charges against Nguyễn Văn Đài and Lê Thu Hà, should be withdrawn and they should be immediately and unconditionally released, the organizations added.

An incommunicado detention is one in which a detainee is held without access to the outside world, particularly to family, lawyers, courts and independent doctors. The practice of incommunicado detention violates key rights of persons deprived of liberty and facilitates torture and other ill-treatment. Prolonged periods of incommunicado detention can themselves constitute a violation of the prohibition on torture and other ill-treatment.

Nguyễn Văn Đài and Lê Thu Hà were arrested on 16 December 2015 and charged under Article 88 of the Penal Code, ‘Conducting propaganda against the state’. All efforts by family and legal counsel to visit the pair since their arrests have been denied.

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