Vietnam: Artist and filmmaker documenting miscarriages of justice detained in Hanoi

7 November 2019
Portrait of artist Thinh Nguyen
Thinh Nguyen / Facebook


On 25 October 2019, Vietnamese artist and filmmaker Thinh Nguyen was arrested by a group of un-uniformed men and one uniformed police officer outside of his Hanoi residence, according to AFP News.

Video footage of the artist’s arrest shows Nguyen being restrained at points by up to six men. The Project 88 report that the artist was later released by faces “a high risk of re-arrest”.

According to AFP News, the artist was detained for a period of hours and later released. Two computers, cameras, phones and other electronic devices were confiscated. Nguyen asserted that the police did not issue an arrest warrant.

In addition to his other artistic pursuits, Nguyen is a filmmaker renowned for his interview series “Thinh’s Stories” (Chuyện của Thịnh) which focused on miscarriages of justice, prisoners who were wrongfully convicted, and those on death row.

According to The Project 88, the artist has further involvement in activism activities as an active member of Vietnam’s Green Trees group, which actively promotes environmental initiatives in the country. The publication alleges that his active membership within the organisation could put him at higher risks of targeted arbitrary detention.

Artists may be at a higher risk of this kind of attention due to their public profiles. Similar occurrences of detainment have been recorded in the arrest of Russian actor Pavel Ustinov, the lengthy detainment of Cameroonian rapper Valsero, and the recent arrest and year-long prison sentencing of Guinean reggae singer Elie Kamano all in the vicinity of peaceful protests.

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