Thach Thuol

Current Status: Sentenced

Photo of Thach Thuol

Other Names: Thạch Thươl

Date of Birth: 1985

Gender: M

Religion: Buddhist

Ethnicity: Khmer Krom

Occupation:

Latest Prison: Xuan Loc prison, Dong Nai province

Areas of Activism:

  • Human rights
  • Religious freedom

Known Affiliations:

Arrest History

May 20, 2013
September 27, 2013
6 years in prison
  • Art. 91
May 20, 2019

Details

Venerable Thạch Thươl is a Khmer Krom Buddhist monk and deputy abbot of Serei Ta Sek Temple in Sóc Trăng province.

As the head monk of Ta Set Pagoda, he often spoke out against the government’s mistreatement of Khmer Krom Buddhists who refused to be absorbed into the government-created Vietnam Buddhist Sangha. Venerable Thach Thuol also criticized the government for rejecting his multiple requests that his temple be allowed to teach Khmer language to Khmer Krom children. At the order of the government, the Patriotic Monks Association ordered Thạch Thươl and two other Khmer Krom monks to defrock or face imprisonment, alleging that the three were spreading “fabricated information” abroad about rights violations in Viet Nam, through interviews with foreign media and contact with the Khmer Krom Federation, a US-based advocacy group. As the representative of this association, escorted by the police, came to evict him from his own temple, his followers put up resistance. As he and three other Khmer Krom Buddhists attempted to flee to a safe location to seek political asylum, they were arrested on 05/20/2013.

He was arrested on May 20, 2013 and charged under Article 91 of the 1999 Penal Code (Fleeing abroad to oppose the people’s administration). In pre-trial detention, Thạch Thươl was beaten by police but refused to confess to any crimes. He was tried on September 27, 2013 and sentenced to six years imprisonment. He is currently detained at Xuân Lộc Prison in Đồng Nai Province.

Amnesty International, Viet Nam: List of Prisoners of Conscience, 12 July 2016 (PDF)

BPSOS, Religious Prisoners in Vietnam, May 10, 2017 (PDF)

Profile last updated: 2017-12-31 03:34:13