Vo Ngoc Cu

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Vo Ngoc Cu

Other Names: Võ Ngọc Cư

Date of Birth: 1951

Gender: M

Religion: Buddhist (An Đàn Đại Đạo)

Ethnicity: Kinh

Current Prison: Xuyen Moc prison, Ba Ria-Vung Tau province

Areas of Activism:

  • Religious freedom

Details - Background, History of Activism.

Vo Ngoc Cu 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.

Arrest 1 - Arrested February 6, 2012. Sentenced to 16 years in prison. Expected Release is February 6, 2028.

February 6, 2012
January, 2013
16 years in prison
  • Art. 79 (1999 Code)
February 6, 2028

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 February 6, 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 Section K3, Prison T345 in Xuyen Moc District, Ba Ria- Vung Tau. His health is poor.


February 2013:

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. 

Profile last updated: 2018-05-16 23:19:23