Nguyen Van Dai
Current Status: Pre-trial detention
Other Names: Nguyễn Văn Đài
Date of Birth: May 6, 1969
Religion: Christian (Protestant)
Latest Prison: B14 Detention Center, Hanoi
Areas of Activism:
- Human rights
- Bloc 8406
- Brotherhood for Democracy
- Vietnam Human Rights Centre
- Art. 88
- Art. 79
- Art. 88
Dai's wife visited him in prison and reported that he has a strong resolve but is still in poor health. Read the "Physical Health History" section below for more details.
Nguyen Van Dai has spent almost two years in pre-trial detention and faces health issues from an injury sustained from an attack in December 2015 and from hepatitis B.
Dai is from Hung Yen province, near Hanoi. He is a pro-democracy human rights lawyer who has advocated for the legal rights of vulnerable populations in Vietnam.
Dai founded the Committee for Human Rights in Viet Nam (now Vietnam Human Rights Centre) in 2006. He also co-founded the Brotherhood for Democracy in 2013 and is a signatory to Bloc 8406. In April 2017, Dai was awarded the 2017 Human Rights prize from the German Association of Judges.
Dai was arrested in 2007 under Article 88 for "propaganda against the state," and was sentenced to five years in prison (reduced to four years on appeal) and four years probation.
Dai was arrested while attempting to meet with EU delegates for the annual EU-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue in 2015. He was arrested along with his assistant, Le Thu Ha. He has been held in incommunicado pre-trial detention since his arrest, and his pre-trial investigation period has been extended several times, potentially prompting Dai to stage a hunger strike. On July 30, 2017, Dai was charged under Article 79 for subversion, making it unclear if his initial charge under Article 88 still stands. Dissident journalist Pham Doan Trang shared on her page that he and Nguyen Huu Vinh (aka Anh Ba Sam) have refused to be exiled in order to be freed from prison. His detention has been deemed arbitrary by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
Prior to arrest: Suffering from hepatistis B
Just days before his arrest, on December 6, 2015, Dai and several colleagues were attacked after delivering a human rights workshop. He still suffers from injuries sustained in that attack.
Dai has only met with his wife twice since his arrest, and he has not been allowed to meet with his lawyer.
Contact us if you can assist.
73 parliament members from 14 countries sent a letter to Vietnam's Prime Minister calling for Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thu Ha's release.
Activists honored Dai on his 600th day imprisoned on August 7 by staging protests of solidarity.
Dai's case has been taken on by several international human rights organizations and members of US and European governmental bodies.
The 88 Project's archives
Defend the Defender's archives
Front Line Defender's profile
Detained Vietnamese Human Rights Attorney to Receive Award For His Work, Radio Free Asia, April 4, 2017
Obama Must Insist on Release of Vietnamese Political Prisoners, TIME, May 22, 2016
Profile last updated: 2018-02-04 19:25:03