Together with Media Legal Defence Initiative, PEN International, Lawyers Rights Watch Canada and Viet Tan, L4L filed a petition with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) urging it to intervene in the case of lawyer Nguyen Van Dai. Van Dai has been detained incommunicado since being arrested on 16 December 2015 while enroute to meet with an EU delegation.
Nguyen Van Dai is the co-founder of the Vietnam Human Rights Committee and a prodemocracy activist. He has provided legal assistance to government critics and members of religious minorities.
Nguyen Van Dai was arrested on 16 December 2015, when he was on his way to meetings with EU delegates, on charges of “Conducting Propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam” under Article 88 of the Penal Code. His house was searched, items of property seized, and he was transferred immediately to a detention centre. Since his arrest, Nguyen Van Dai has been held incommunicado. He has been denied access to legal representation and has been denied contact with his family.
This is not the first time Nguyen Van Dai was arrested. In 2007, Van Dai was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment, also for spreading propaganda against the state. After he served his sentence in 2011, he was placed under house arrest for a while. All this has not stopped Nguyen Van Dai from promoting human rights. Besides his work as a lawyer, he writes blogs and articles about human rights in Vietnam.
L4L has been campaigning for Nguyen Van Dai’s release since he was arrested. We will continue to closely monitor his case.