Tran Thi Xuan

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Tran Thi Xuan

Other Names: Teresa Trần Thị Xuân

Date of Birth: October 10, 1976

Gender: F

Religion: Christian (Catholic)

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Freelancer

Current Prison: Prison No. 5, Thanh Hoa province

Areas of Activism:

  • Environment

Known Affiliations:

  • Brotherhood for Democracy

October 2018:

On October 7, Tran Thi Xuan’s family visited her and noted that her health was not good because of her beriberi (a lack of vitamin B1/thiamin), but she was in good spirits. She told her family to not worry about her because she could deal with every trouble in prison. Her family started to send her medicine after the meeting, but they are not sure if she will receive it. 

Details - Background, History of Activism, Family Situation, Support the Family.

Tran Thi Xuan resided in Long Hai hamlet, Thach Kim commune, Loc Ha district, Ha Tinh province. She is a member of Cua Sot parrish, Loc Ha district.

Tran Thi Xuan was active in her Catholic community, raising money for charitable causes. She also spoke out against pollution in the wake of the 2016 Formosa environmental disaster and participated in protests in Loc Ha districts to demand compensation for the fishermen for the pollution caused by the toxic spill.

Xuan is unmarried.

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Arrest 1 - Arrested October 17, 2017. Sentenced to 9 years in prison. Expected Release is October 17, 2026.

October 17, 2017
April 12, 2018
9 years in prison
  • Art. 79 (1999 Code)
October 17, 2026

Tran Thi Xuan was arrested under Article 79 (“attempt to overthrow the people’s government”) by the police of Ha Tinh province in Ha Tinh province on October 17, when she was on the way from her home to the local church. Her family was not notified about the arrest until the following day, and they were only informed by phone. There was no arrest warrant, and the police of Ha Tinh province only issued a "Press release on the urgent arrest of Tran Thi Xuan" two days after the arrest. The authorities were not clear about the details of the charges against her. Hundreds, and perhaps a few thousand, people protested Xuan’s arrest in a mass public display of support in Ha Tinh. Supporters also held a prayer vigil in her honor.

Tran Thi Xuan at trial on April 12, 2018. Source: VietnamNet

Tran Thi Xuan in court on April 12, 2018. Source: VietnamNet

On April 12, 2018, Tran Thi Xuan was sentenced to nine years in prison by a court in Ha Tinh province. Her trial was unannounced to the public beforehand. She had to face trial without an attorney. 

June 2018:

Human Rights Foundation submitted an individual complaint to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention regarding the case of Tran Thi Xuan. Read the full complaint, here.

July 2018:

Continuing a string of recent prison transfers, authorities moved female activist and political prisoner Tran Thi Xuan from the Ha Tinh province police detention center to prison no. 5, Thanh Hoa province.

Before arrest: Xuan suffered from multiple health problems, including kidney disease and asthma.

After arrest: the picture from her trial shows that Xuan may be suffering from fluid retention due the lack of treatment for her kidney disease.

May 2018:

Catholic parishoners and priests have asked the Vietnamese government to reconsider the conviction of Tran Thi Xuan. In a petition submitted the government, they alleged that Xuan has been denied visits from both family and lawyers while imprisoned. They questioned the motives behind Xuan's arrest and whether they were connected to Xuan's assistance towards victims of the Formosa ecological disaster.

Profile last updated: 2018-10-15 03:04:08