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the Night Prayer Vigil 2018

Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh

Alias Mẹ Nấm (Mother mushroom) is a Vietnamese blogger and activist sentenced for daring to criticize the power in place.

Detained in a secret location for 10 months between October 2016 and August 2017, without any contact with the outside world, no one knows what kind of pressure or abuse she suffered. However, just the notion of incommunicado detention already constitutes torture.

The winner of several international awards, rewarding her work towards fundamental rights, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for posting articles on Facebook criticizing the Vietnamese government. Her trial was unfair, held behind closed doors, and her lawyer was struck from the bar in a fallacious way.

With the exception of a five-minute visit the day before her trial as well as two brief visits following her 10 year sentence in June 2017, she hardly has had any contact with her mother or her children.
Quỳnh’s health has deteriorated in prison. She is unable to sleep due to violent headaches and has cramps due to the cold. She also suffers has growing pains in her hand. Her mother tried to send her some treatments, food, clothes, a Bible, and a collection of hymns Quỳnh had asked for, but the prison authorities refused. The only reading allowed is "The People", the party’s official newspaper.

On February 7, 2018, Quỳnh was transferred to a facility in the Thanh Hoa province, a prison notorious for its bad living conditions. Her mother was only informed of the transfer after the fact, when she was at Nha Trang Prison to visit Quỳnh for Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. She will now have to travel more than 1000 kilometers to the other end of the country to see her daughter.

The family is being surveilled daily by the authorities and it is said that the children have become quite withdrawn, disturbed by their mother’s absence.

What can you do?

You can write to her family:

Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Lan
24 Đặng Tất
Phường Vĩnh Phước, tp Nha Trang
Việt Nam


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