Director of Vietnam’s Institute for Development Studies was arrested and detained on charges of “abusing democratic freedoms”

Mr. Nguyen Son Lo

Former Director of the Southeast and North Asia Institute of Technology Research and Development (SENA) Nguyen Son Lo on February 2 was detained by the Security Investigation Agency of Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security after about six months after a decision was made to probe for the crime of “abusing freedom and democracy infringe upon the interests of the State, the legitimate rights and interests of organizations and individuals” under Article 331 of the Criminal Code.

The website of the Ministry of Public Security on the evening of February 2 reported that the decision to probe Mr. Nguyen Son Lo was made on July 27, 2022, but “considering the fact that the accused is an elderly person (74 years old), have a place of residence, a clear background, and the procedure-conducting agencies have applied the measure of banning leaving the place of residence.”

According to the new notice, “During the investigation of the case, defendant Nguyen Son Lo showed signs of continuing to commit crimes. On February 2, 2023, the Investigative Security Agency of the Ministry of Public Security issued an arrest warrant for the accused for temporary detention and a search warrant for this defendant’s residence and workplace.”

The notice did not specify what crimes Mr. Lo continued to commit.

As previously reported by RFA, Mr. Lo has many recommendations to build the Communist Party. Mr. Nguyen Son Lo (also known as Minh Duong) also signed as director of SENA an open letter dated December 9, 2015 to the Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam requesting the leadership of Vietnam change the name of the Party, the name of the country, and the foreign policy that was considered to be dependent on China. The letter has 127 signatures, including famous intellectuals such as Major General Nguyen Trong Vinh, Professor Hoang Tuy, Professor Chu Hao…

An article by the police of Bach Thong district – Bac Kan province with the title “Suggestions to build the Party or against the Party” refers to the SENA research institute, and claims to have sent an open letter to comment on the documents of the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam but in fact is “a form of expressing wrong views, supporting the distorting arguments against the Party and State.”

Before Mr. Lo was probed, on July 4, 2022, the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations issued a decision to suspend the operation of the SENA to carry out procedures dissolving because this institute violated regulations on establishment and operation registration. (Translated)

Kasse animation 7.8.2023