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Vietnamese videographer Do Cong Duong dies in prison

The 58-year-old’s official cause Do Cong Duongit is died August 2 was not announced but he suffered from multiple ailments for which he was denied proper medical treatment. Imprisoned since January 2018, he was serving an eight-year sentence in prison No. 6 in Nghe An province (north). The authorities refused to release his body to his family.

“We are deeply shocked to learn of the death of Do Cong Duong following his detention in truly inhumane conditions,” said Daniel Bastard, head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “We call on the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Alice Jill Edwards, to take action to ensure the survival of The Huu Minh Tuan and the other 39 journalists currently imprisoned in Vietnam.

Degrading treatment

Duong’s health had deteriorated significantly in prison, and he had suffered from heart disease, pneumonia and respiratory failure for several months. Despite repeated protests from his family, the prison authorities never granted him the necessary care and he had to wait until he was close to death to be hospitalized.

Between torture, solitary confinement and denial of medical care, conditions in Vietnamese prisons are appalling. Degrading treatment is commonplace in its prisons and detention centers, especially for political prisoners. After refusing the grieving family’s request for his body, prison authorities buried Duong inside the prison, against his family’s wishes.

Detailed Land Seizure Reports

Duong, originally from the northern province of Bac Ninh, used social media to spread his independently reported news and information, like many other citizen journalists in Vietnam. A very active citizen journalist, he often broadcast live video reports on the “Tieng Dan TV” Facebook page corruption-related issues and state land grabs, which often target the most disadvantaged sections of the population.

It was while filming a land grab in Tu Son, a town in Bac Ninh province, that he was arrested in January 2018 and tried twice in September and October of the same year for “disturbing to public order” and “undermining democracy”. liberties”, receiving a handset nine-year prison sentence which was reduced to eight years on appeal in January 2019.

RSF is sounding the alarm about the situation of the 40 other journalists and bloggers currently detained in Vietnam. Many of them – including The Huu Minh Tuanwas sentenced to 11 years in prison in June 2020 – are in very poor health and risks suffering the same fate as Duong.