News / Asia

    Vietnam Dissident Released After Brutal Arrest

    FILE - Activist Nguyen Bac Truyen (right) with citizen journalist Anton Le (Courtesy: Nguyen Bac Truyen)
    FILE - Activist Nguyen Bac Truyen (right) with citizen journalist Anton Le (Courtesy: Nguyen Bac Truyen)
    A well-known Vietnamese human rights activist has been released from detention, just 24 hours after he says he was brutally arrested inside his home.

    Nguyen Bac Truyen says hundreds of police and undercover agents raided his home in southern Dong Thap province Sunday, firing three gunshots before violently taking him away.

    Truyen, who was released late Monday in Ho Chi Minh City, told VOA's Vietnamese service that he refused to answer any questions from the police.

    “I told them, ‘You have violated laws when arresting me and assaulting me. So, I won’t answer any of your questions nor will I sign any documents,'" said Truyen.

    His fiancée, Bui Thi Kim Phuong, says his arrest on Sunday was very violent.

    “More than 100 policemen and undercover agents raided my home. They broke our front and back doors, barged into our home. They violently kicked my husband to the ground, blindfolded him, duct-taped his mouth, slapped him in the face, and handcuffed him," said  Kim Phuong.

    Truyen has been using Facebook and other social media networks to publicize what he says are repressive policies against a Buddhist religious group. He says authorities in Dong Thap have been trying to make him leave the area.

    “Police in Dong Thap have long wanted to retaliate against me. Ever since I moved to Dong Thap province, they have threatened me so many times via messages on Facebook and my mobile phone, asking me to leave this area or they would attack my in-laws. They have even threatened to throw explosives into my house. They threw stones into my residence every night. We asked for protection from the local authorities, but they said that was not their duty," he said.

    Officials in the province have not commented on Truyan's arrest or release.

    Truyen was freed from prison in 2010 after a three and a-half year jail term for ‘anti-state propaganda’ for criticizing the government and calling for democracy in Vietnam.

    His arrest came just days after the U.N. Human Rights Council issued a list of 227 recommendations for Vietnam, including calls to abolish the death penalty, improve freedom of religion and end harassment of government critics.

    Vietnamese Vice Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc defended his country's record last week, and said it was going out of its way to encourage the "diverse emergence of the press and mass media, including the Internet."

    Sweden's Anna Jakenberg Brinck criticized "an increase in regulations to control the Internet," saying "at least 58 people have been arrested or sentenced to prison under "vague provisions of 'national security offences' for exercising their right to freedom of expression on the Internet" since 2009.

    This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service.

    You May Like

    S. African Farmer Goes From 'Voice in the Wilderness' to Sought-After Expert

    Margarest Roberts has authored more than 40 books on subjects like organic farming, urban agriculture, herbs and ‘superfoods'

    Millennial Men Prefer Bucks Over Beauty

    U.S. men aged 18 to 34 say the finances of a potential significant other are more important than her looks

    Multimedia Lebanese Clown Troupe Marks Valentine's Day Amid Stink

    Activists resort to unusual approaches to raise public awareness of country’s ongoing trash crisis

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.