Former POC Tạ Phong Tần, who used to be held in the same facility with Minh Mẫn, said that female political prisoners were held separately in Prison No. 5, Thanh Hóa. Nobody is allowed into the political prisoners section without the permission of the prison ward, even cantina and medical staff. She doubted that the stranger named Lan was a real prisoner.
Besides Tạ Phong Tần and Nguyễn Đặng Minh Mẫn, other female POCs such as Hồ Thị Bích Khương and Phạm Thị Lộc were held and mistreated in Prison No. 5. The solitary confinement section is very small, dirty, and foul smelling because of the lack of proper cleaning. Those who are disciplined in the section also have their legs cuffed. Some prisoners were infected because of the scratches caused by the leg cuffs.
POC Nguyễn Đặng Minh Mẫn, born 1985, a Catholic social activist, was arrested in a major crackdown in August 2011 and sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment and 5 years of probation in January 2013 under Art. 79 of the Criminal Code (“attempting to overthrow the people’s government”). She repeatedly went on hunger-strikes in 2014 to protest the ill-treatment in jail. She is due to be released in August 2019.
Source (Vietnamese): SBTN
Adapted and translated by The 88 Project
© 2017 The 88 Project