CTV Danlambao * Translated by Jasmine Tran (Danlambao) - On 18 August 2018, calling from her prison, Prisoner of Conscience Trần Thị Nga revealed that she was recently beaten and threatened with death. Phan Văn Phong, her husband, who has been looking after Nga each month, told Danlambao: “During the standard five-minutecall from the prison, Nga rapidly disclosed that she has been repeatedly beaten and threatened with death. Nga did not dare to say any moreas she worried we would be cut off.”
“From the start, Nga has maintained her innocence, and therefore refused to wear prison uniform. Besides, she has not received any of the mail sent to her by friends.”
During the family’s visit in July, prisoner of conscience Trần Thị Nga revealed to her husband that she was placed in the same cell with Gia Trung prison’s most notorious female mobster, who repeatedly terrorized her.
Prisoner of conscience Trần Thị Nga (born in 1977, residing in Phủ Lý, Hà Nam) has been sentenced to nine years in prison by the communist government for "conducting propaganda against the State" under Article 88. She is currently detained at Gia Trung detention centre in Gia Lai, which is over a 1000 kilometres from her home.
It is obvious that using criminals serving long-term sentences to attack, torture, and threaten to kill political prisoners has been a useful government tactic. This tactic is one of the worst schemes that the Vietnamese Communist Government has used to intimidate and seekrevenge on detained human rights defenders.
Only in last July, prisoner of conscience Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh (also-known-as blogger Mẹ Nấm, recently serving her 10 year sentence) had staunchly embarked upon her 16 day hunger strike to protest against the cruel treatment from the prison officers in Prison No. 5, Thanh Hóa towards her. Quỳnh only ended her hunger strike after representatives from the US Embassy came to Prison No. 5, Thanh Hóa to visit her and work with the prison authorities. Up until that time, Quỳnh had been constantly tortured and harassed by criminal prisoners.
On her facebook, former prisoner of conscience Cấn Thị Thêu, who herself had spent her prison term in Gia Trung wrote:
“During the time I was in Gia Trung prison, I noticed that once prison guards spot signs of conflict between prisoners, they will immediately separate them and change their cell to prevent them from fighting. In Nga’s case, although she has been bullied and threatened by criminal prisoners for a long time, still the officials have not done anything to interfere. Therefore it is apparent that those criminals have acted under the instruction of Gia Trung authorities.”
“I strongly condemn and accuse Gia Trung prison’s authorities of having directed criminal prisoners to harass and torture prisoner of conscience Trần Thị Nga.” Phong told Danlambao’s collaborator that he is arranging the necessary documents to send to national authorities and to international human rights organizations, to report Trần Thị Nga’s mistreament in prison.