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Buddhist blogger Huynh Ngoc Tuan and family subjected to harassment

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PARIS, 6 April 2013 (VIETNAM COMMITTEE) – Prominent Buddhist blogger and writer Huynh Ngoc Tuan informs the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR) that on 3 April 2013, he was the victim of harassment by unknown men, presumably hired hands of the local security forces. At midnight, he suddenly heard a motorbike pull up outside his home, which is next to the village road. Several buckets of foul-smelling water containing a mixture of rotten shrimps, fishes’ guts and excrement were hurled into his house, just near his sleeping place. He managed to catch a glimpse of two men on the motorbike as it raced away into the night. The stench of the fetid water was so strong that his family all vomited. They spent the night trying to clean up the house, but could not get rid of the smell of the foul mixture, which had splashed all over their clothes and belongings. Even the neighbours complained of the smell.

Foul-smelling water runs down the road outside Huynh Ngoc Tuan’s home  
Foul-smelling water runs down the road outside Huynh Ngoc Tuan’s home
 

Water, rotten fish and excrements thrown into the house  
Water, rotten fish and excrements thrown into the house
 

This is not the first time Huynh Ngoc Tuan and his family have been the victims of Police harassments. In a previous incident, security agents threw two venomous snakes into the home of his eldest daughter Huynh Thuc Vy as a warning to stop her blogging activities. More recently, following pressure from the local Police, his younger daughter Huynh Khanh Vy was expelled from her lodgings just two weeks after giving birth. Her request for a scholarship to study in Australia was also blocked.

Writer and blogger Huynh Ngoc Tuan, 50, is accused by the local authorities of posting articles on the Internet which “oppose the Party and State”. In 1992, he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison for “spreading propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”. Released in 2002, but he remained under house arrest for the next four years. Since then, he and his family have suffered constant Police threats, harassments and attacks. A Buddhist, he is a member of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) which is banned by the Vietnamese government.

Huynh Ngoc Tuan and Huynh Thuc Vy were amongst five Vietnamese bloggers to be awarded the 2012 Hellman-Hammet Award for persecuted writers. His son, Huynh Trong Hieu, tried to travel to the US to accept the prize on their behalf, but he was intercepted at Tan Son Nhut airport on 16 December 2012 and banned from boarding the plane.

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