Le Minh The
Current Status: Pre-trial detention
Other Names: Lê Minh Thể
Date of Birth: July 5, 1963
Areas of Activism:
- Freedom of expression
The People’s court of Binh Thuy Ward, Can Tho Province has postponed Le Minh The’s first instance trial, which was previously scheduled March 6, 2019. The's lawyer asked for an extension to prepare for the trial, and so it has been rescheduled for March 20. He will be prosecuted under the Article 331, the 2015 Penal Code for “abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the State, lawful rights and interests of organizations and/or citizens." Political prisoner Huynh Truong Ca, who was sentenced to five years and six months in prison last year, has been summoned as a witness in the trial.
Details - Background, History of Activism, Family Situation.
Le Minh The. Artwork by Dinh Truong Chinh for The 88 Project
Le Minh The was born in Thanh Hoa province and is a veteran.
Le Minh The usually live streamed on Facebook to talk about national issues such as the aggression of China on South China Sea or environment pollution. In addition, he also usually voiced his disagreement with government’s policies.
Arrest 1 - Arrested October 10, 2018.
- Art. 331 (2015 Code)
On October 10, police of Binh Thuy district, Can Tho city, arrested Le Minh The when he was in his private house, located in No. 367/21 Tran Quang Dieu street, Binh Thuy Ward, Can Tho city. He was prosecuted for “abusing democratic freedom rights to infringe upon the interests of the state and on the legitimate rights and interests or organisations and citizens” under the Article 331 of the 2015 Penal Code.
Thanh Niên Newspaper reported that investigation agency also accused him of creating many Facebook accounts to post, share, and comment on articles, which distorted the guidelines and policies of the party and the state since early 2017 until now. Police reportedly confiscated many documents with those contents after searching his house.
Since June 2018, The was said to often use social media to connect with reactionaries, both inside the country and overseas, as well as livestream to incite people to participate in demonstrations against two bills on Special Economic Zones and cybersecurity.
He will be under pre-trial investigation for 2 months. His sister, Facebooker Mai Bui revealed that on the first day of his arrest, his wife brought the food for him but police refused and said that he would have to eat instant noodle with cold water. After 15 days, he would be able to receive the food but his family would not be allowed to meet him.
Le Minh The had been detained for over three months without being permitted a visit from his family. His family complied with requirements to obtain a letter of verification from commune officials, but they were still barred from meeting with him.
Human Rights Watch called for the release of Le Minh The and five political prisoners facing appeal trials the same week as The's first-instance hearing, saying that "[i]nternational donors and trade partners should tell Vietnam that continuing this crackdown will cause problems for the aid and trade deals that Hanoi wants to conclude with North America and the European Union.”
Le Minh The's arrest order. Source: Facebook Võ Hồng Ly
Vietnam: 6 Activists Headed to Prison, Human Rights Watch, March 14, 2019
Profile last updated: 2019-03-18 02:51:37