Activist Nguyen Chi Tuyen was arrested

Mr. Nguyen Chi Tuyen is known as a democracy and environmental activist through protests against China, or marches calling for the protection of trees in Hanoi. He also spoke up in land disputes between people and the government in Van Giang, Duong Noi, and Dong Tam.

Activist and blogger Nguyen Chi Tuyen, also known as Anh Chi was arrested by Vietnamese police around noon on February 29.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Anh Tuyet, wife of blogger Nguyen Chi Tuyen, confirmed to BBC News

Vietnamese police searched his house and Mr. Tuyen was arrested.


From Hanoi, Ms. Tuyet told BBC Vietnamese by phone at noon on February 29 about the incident happened the same morning.

Accordingly, at about 10 a.m., the police entered Mr. Tuyen’s house in Long Bien district, Ha Noi.

“I saw a lot of people, probably more than a dozen people. I saw a person wearing a security outfit, one person is a local police officer. The rest are all in civilian clothes,” Ms. Tuyet said.

One day earlier, Mr. Tuyen received a summons from the police but because he had a fever so he did not go and he contacted the phone number in the summons to notify him about his health problem.

“This morning, when they arrived at the house, there were only two or three people. They told me they just wanted to talk to my husband just a little bit. When I agreed to open the door for them to enter the house, others broke into my house.”


At Mr. Tuyen’s house, the police read the decision to probe the case, searched the house and confiscated a number of items, including a Nokia phone that Mr. Tuyen was using, a laptop and some pages of his handwritten manuscript.

Ms. Tuyet said they did not leave any documents even though the family requested it. She said she remembered part of the content of the arrest warrant related to the allegation of “conducting propaganda and distributing documents against the state.”

Ms. Tuyet also said that even though he was feverish and tired, Mr. Tuyen was in a calm mood because of him “did nothing wrong.”

“Our people have rights and the Party and State also encourage people to protest argue and express their opinions on state policies and guidelines.”


Ms. Tuyet told the BBC that she felt a bit confused because the incident happened unexpectedly, it would take a while for her to get used to his arrest, but she always supported her husband’s work and believes that Mr. Tuyen “did nothing wrong.”

Answering the BBC’s question about why the police arrested Mr. Tuyen at this time, Ms. Tuyet said she did not know the reason.


This arrest occurred not long after the videos reappeared on social networks scene of Mr. Tuyen protesting with activists a few years ago, on the anniversary of the Vietnam-China War 1979.

Banned from leaving the country, summoned many times

According to documents seen by BBC Vietnamese, from January 2024, Mr. Tuyen received notification of the results of handling criminal information and the decision to temporarily banning from leaving the country to serve investigation from the Security Investigation Agency, Hanoi City Police.


Ms. Tuyet, Mr. Chi Tuyen’s wife, confirmed to the BBC that Mr. Tuyen regularly received documents sent by post notifying him that he was banned from leaving the country.

Mr. Tuyen was accused of “Making, storing or disseminating information, documents and objects products aimed against the state of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam” according to Article 117 of the Criminal Code and “Abusing democratic freedoms to violate the interests of the State, rights and interests legitimate interests of organizations and individuals” according to Article 331 of the Criminal Code.

The incident targeting Mr. Tuyen started last year, after which he was repeatedly summoned by security forces.


Who is Mr. Nguyen Chi Tuyen?

Mr. Nguyen Chi Tuyen, nicknamed Anh Chi, is known as an democracy and the environment activist through anti-China protests, or calling marches protecting trees in Hanoi.

In addition, he also participated with people in land disputes with the government authorities like the Van Giang, Duong Noi, and Dong Tam cases.

Mr. Tuyen owns a YouTube channel with nearly 100,000 subscribers, often posting videos content on democracy and human rights issues.

In 2015, he was assaulted by “a group of thugs” while taking his children to school. Domestic activists accused those who attacked him of being “undercover police.” The pictures posted on social networks at that time showed that Mr. Tuyen suffered many injuries on his face and upper body head.

Mr. Tuyen met with American and Australian diplomats after the incident. An American congressman even did write a letter asking the Vietnamese government to open an investigation. However, the incident has since ended there.


That was just one of many assaults targeting democracy activists.

Mr. Nguyen Chi Tuyen was assaulted in May 2015. Domestic bloggers accused those who attacked him of being “undercover police.”

In an exchange with BBC Vietnamese in 2015, Mr. Nguyen Chi Tuyen explained the purpose of his activity:

“We are citizens and we only exercise civil rights, basic rights of people such as the right to express our political opinions, the right to participate in meetings within what the law allows, and the Vietnamese Constitution also stipulates,as well as international conventions.”

He added: “Right now we only know how to protect ourselves by being united together to support each other, then limit situations that can lead to risks for us.”

Still, it seemed like something he was willing to accept. In an interview with Mekong Review, he once declared: “I am willing to sacrifice my life for freedom.”


Kasse animation 7.8.2023