Last Friday, January 25, 2019, former political prisoner, Truong Duy Nhat, was last seen at the office of the UN HCR – The Refugee Agency in Bangkok, Thailand.
Truong Duy Nhat. Photo courtesy: Teu Blog
Nhat was there to register himself as an asylum seeker after leaving Vietnam earlier in the month.
According to his family and friends, no one had heard from him since last Saturday, and they could not contact him.
Nhat has left Vietnam for Thailand for about 21 days, said his family.
The family was able to confirm that Nhat was not held by Thailand’s IDC (Immigration Detention Center). They also obtained further information today that Thai authorities, up to this point, did not arrest Nhat either.
Nhat’s phone number in Thailand is not turned off, but no one answered the calls. His wife and daughter are worried about his safety and well-being as they are still unable to get in touch with him.
Truong Duy Nhat was sentenced to two-year-imprisonment in 2014 under Article 258 of the 1999 Penal Code. Nhat was arrested in May 2013 and held in detention until his trial.
The government alleged some of his blog entries on the Blog “Another Point of View” (Một Góc Nhìn Khác) was “abusing democratic freedoms to infringe the interest of the state”.
His blog was indeed critical of the government and the leaders of the Vietnamese Communist Party.
One of the entries published in April 2013 was calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and the VCP’s General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong for their perceived political and economic mismanagement.
After his release in 2015, Nhat continued with his blogging and resided in Da Nang, Vietnam.
Nhat’s wife is still in Vietnam, but his daughter is studying in Vancouver, Canada. They are asking members of the public to come forward with any useful information regarding his whereabouts.