GNsP (19.03.2016) – Representatives of the Australian and British Embassies in Vietnam went to visit former prisoner of conscience Tran Minh Nhat at his home in Lam Ha, Lam Dong Province on the afternoon of March 18, 2016.
Graham Knight, Head of the Internal Political Section of the British Embassy, and Rose McConnell, Second Secretary, from the Australian Embassy along with their colleagues witnessed firsthand the damage and acts of harassment and intimidation his family were subjected to over the past few months.
“The two diplomats and my family went to observe the chemically poisoned pepper vines on my plantation as well as my older brother’s. They were also quite shocked regarding the state of my older brother’s crops where a large number of coffee plants were chopped,” Nhat said.
Lam Ha Police continued to monitor Nhat’s family while the diplomats were present.
Most recently, activists from Saigon who visited Tran Minh Nhat were harassed and threatened by a mob of 100 people described as “ethnic minorities” and “thugs”. The mob was believed to be the work of local police.
Tran Minh Nhat’s family has been continually faced acts of intimidation and harassment since his release in August last year including dried coffee plants being lit, break-ins at their properties and stoning of their homes. On February 22 2016, Nhat was stoned by a police officer causing a severe head injury.
The representatives of the two embassies expressed their concern and would continue to raise their concerns regarding the continuous harassment of Tran Minh Nhat.