Ex Communist Party Member Vi Duc Hoi arrested

Viet Tan

November 27, 2010

Democracy activist and former Communist Party member Vi Duc Hoi is currently detained for violating Article 88 of the Vietnamese penal code, “conducting propaganda against the Socialist State”, an accusation commonly used against writers and bloggers.

On October 7, 2010 about 20 public security officials raided his home, detained and interrogated him for a week. Then on October 27 he was arrested and placed under four months temporary detainment.

His wife, an elementary school teacher, was dismissed from the Communist Party due to her “inability to educate her husband.”

A Communist Party member from 1980 to 2007, Vi Duc Hoi attended the Nguyen Ai Quoc Communist Party School in Hanoi from 1983-1986, which is reserved for senior party members. He has held numerous positions in the party including Director of Communist Party School in Huu Lung District, Lang Son Province; District Standing Committee Member; and Chairman of District Propaganda and Education Committee.

On May 1, 2007 Vi Duc Hoi announced his resignation from the Communist Party. The following day, a party official issued Decision no. 388-QD/TU dated May 2, 2007 stating the party will have to “undertake disciplinary action against comrade Vi Duc Hoi” and “expel” him.

On May 18, 2008, Vi Duc Hoi joined Bloc 8406. Since quitting the Communist Party, Vi Duc Hoi has been subjected to arrests/harassment due to his pro-democracy activism. In April of 2008, he was arrested for protesting the Beijing Torch Relay in Vietnam. On June 12, 2008, Vi Duc Hoi was publicly denounced, accused of treason, and threatened with expulsion from his hometown by a crowd of 300 organized by the Communist Party. Since joining the democracy movement, he has also been denied his health insurance and pension

Vi Duc Hoi is a 2009 recipient of the prestigious Human Rights Watch Hellman/Hammett Award.

Among his literary works are: “Đối Mặt” (Facing), a 240-page autobiography which he released in July 2009 (posted on Thong Luan website: http://www.thongluan.org/vn/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=3301). From late December 2006 to the end of March 2007, he wrote and published online six articles including "Let The People Decide Their Own Representatives"; "The Arrogance of The Communist Party of Vietnam"; "The Vietnamese National Assembly, Voted by The People or Appointed by The Communist Party?"; "Can The Idol Ho Chi Minh Save The Communist Party of Vietnam?"; "The Pro-democracy Activists Have Not Violated The Laws of Vietnam!”; and "The Keen Intervention by The Communist Party of Vietnam in The 12th National Assembly Election".

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