Nguyen Van Huu

Current Status: Sentenced

Photo of Nguyen Van Huu

Other Names: Nguyễn Văn Hữu

Date of Birth: 1957

Gender: M

Religion: Buddhist (An Đàn Đại Đạo)

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation:

Latest Prison: Song Cai prison, Bac Ai district, Phu Yen province

Areas of Activism:

  • Religious freedom

Known Affiliations:

Arrest History

July, 2014
January, 2013
6 years in prison
  • Art. 230
July, 2020

Details

Nguyen Van Huu is a member of An Dan Dai Dao, a Buddhist sect founded in 1969 but outlawed after the Communist regime took over South Vietnam in April 1975.

The religious group ran an eco-tourist company at the Da Bia Tourist Resort in Phu Yen Province. They signed a contract with the local authorities to engage in protecting the forest and environment. The group believed in the prophecies of Nguyen Binh Khiem, a 16th century oracle or Vietnamese equivalent of Nostradamus, and dreamed of building a new “Utopia” in which science, nature and humankind would be harmoniously balanced. They organized conferences and produced leaflets to disseminate their beliefs. According to reports in the state-run media, the group had several hundred members and sections in several central and southern provinces.

Nguyen Van Huu is one of the three additional members of An Dan Dai Dao Buddhist sect who were arrested in 2014 and charged under Art. 230. Earlier, 22 members of An Dan Dai Dao Buddhist sect were arrested in February 2012 under Art. 258 and tried under Art. 79 of the 1999 Penal Code by Phú Yên People’s Court in January 2013, in what is called the "Council for the Laws and Public Affairs of Bia Son" affair. The group was charged with subversion and accused of writing documents critical of the government, setting up two companies and investing in an eco-tourism park as a cover for recruiting supporters. However, those affiliated with the group maintained that the activities of the group were purely religious and that the authorities interpreted their religious teaching in political terms. Human rights groups and supporters consider the arrests a repression by the State of the peaceful religious group. 

Arrested in July 2014, Nguyen Van Huu was sentenced to 6 years in prison for illegally storing, using and trading explosive materials (Art. 230) as the government charged An Dan Dai Dao for plotting to overthrow the government. In fact, the explosives were used to break rocks for a medication center that was being built by his Buddhist sect. He is currently held
in Song Cai Prison in Bac Ai District, Phu Yen Province.

Profile last updated: 2018-01-04 03:45:28