MARCH 15, 2013 | BY EVA GALPERIN – the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) – On 27 December 2012 prominent Vietnamese activist and blogger Le Quoc Quan was arbitrarily arrested and detained by local authorities while taking his daughter to school. The arrest was the culmination of years of constant surveillance and harassment over his extensive writing on civil rights, political pluralism and religious freedom for the BBC, online newspapers, and on his blog.
As a lawyer, Quan represented many victims of human rights violations, but was disbarred in 2007 on suspicion of engaging in “activities to overthrow the regime.” Despite these threats, he continued with his human rights advocacy and as a result he has been arrested several times since. In August 2012, he was hospitalized after being severely beaten near his home by unknown assailants—an assault which has not been investigated by Vietnamese authorities.
Since his latest arrest, Quan has been held incommunicado in detention at Hoa Lo No. 1 Prison, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Viet Nam, and has had access to counsel only twice. No trial date has been set, and reports of a 15-day hunger strike, which has left Quan weak, raise concerns about the state of his health. Continue reading