Tu Thien Luong
Current Status: Sentenced
Other Names: Từ Thiện Lương
Date of Birth: 1950
Religion: Buddhist (An Đàn Đại Đạo)
Latest Prison: An Diem prison, Dai Loc district, Quang Nam province
Areas of Activism:
- Religious freedom
- Art. 79
Tu Thien Luong 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.
He is one of 22 members of An Dan Dai Dao Buddhist sect 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 on November 23, 2012, he was sentenced to 16 years in prison and 5 years of probation pursuant to Article 79 of the penal code. He is currently in prison in An Diem Prison, Dai Hung Commune, Dai Loc District, Quang Nam Province.
The Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and three UN Special Rapporteurs sent a letter to the Vietnamese government regarding the case of the 22 members of the Bia Son Council for Public Law and Affairs, expressing their concerns regarding the fairness of their trial and the motivations behind their arrests. They asked for further information about the case and how the arrests are compatible with international law.
BBC News, Vietnam jails 22 for subversion, February 4, 2013
Vietnam Committee on Human Rights, 22 Members of a nonviolent group condemned to harsh prison terms for “subversion” in Vietnam, February 4, 2013
Sơ lược lịch sử "Ân Đàn Đại Đạo" và pháp nạn ngày 5/2/2012 dẫn đến bản án "Âm mưu lật đổ chính quyền," Dan Luan, October 7, 2015
Đơn giám đốc thẩm nhóm Ân Đàn Đại Đạo, Dan Luan, June 3, 2015
Profile last updated: 2018-05-16 23:18:50