Thich Quang Do
Current Status: House arrest
Other Names: Thích Quảng Độ
Date of Birth: 1928
Areas of Activism:
- Human rights
- Religious freedom
- Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam
Venerable Thich Quang Do has been confined to the Thanh Minh Zen monastery in Hồ Chí Minh City since October 2003. According to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, "In 2018, Thich Quang Do will turn 90. Despite the Patriarch’s age and declining health, Vietnamese authorities continue to surveil the monastery, enforce his confinement, and consistently deny him access to medical care."
Venerable Thích Quảng Độ is the Patriarch of the banned Unified Buddhist Church of Viet Nam (UBCV). He was born in Thai Binh province and currently resides in Ho Chi Minh City. He has been the Patriarch of the UBCV since 2008.
He is a leading advocate of religious freedom, human rights and democracy. In his various capacities within the UBCV leadership, he has steadfastly refused to join the government-created Buddhist Church. He has been alternatively imprisoned, internally exiled, or under house arrest since 1977. He was awarded the Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize, the Homo Homini Award (2002), and other prestigious human rights prizes.
He has been confined to the Thanh Minh Zen monastery in Hồ Chí Minh City since October 2003, when security officials told him that he had been placed in administrative detention for an indefinite period.
Three UN Special Rapporteurs sent a letter to Vietnamese authorities asking for information about alleged retaliation against members of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, including Thich Quang Do, after they engaged in peaceful protests for maritime sovereignty. They asked for "the legal basis of the aforementioned restrictions on freedoms of peaceful assembly, opinion and expression and association" and for explanation as to "how these measures are compatible with international human rights norms and standards."
Thich Quang Do gave recorded testimony at a Geneva event about the human rights situation in Vietnam. He spoke of his own imprisonment, stating: "What is my ‘crime’? That of calling on Vietnam to respect its people’s rights to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, religion and belief."
Amnesty International launched a letter-writing campaign to bring awareness to Thich Quang Do's plight, calling on members of the European Parliament to press for his release during a February 2017 visit to Vietnam.
Defend the Defenders's archives
Thich Quang Do, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
Appendix 2 Religious Prisoners of Conscience, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, April 2018 (PDF)
Profile last updated: 2018-08-03 00:32:38