Professor Pham Minh Hoang, lecturer in mathematics at Ho Chi Minh City Polytechnic Institute, was arrested on August 13, 2010 on charges of participating in a banned opposition political group, the Viet Tan. According to media reports, the arrest followed the interrogation two days earlier of Professor Hoang and his wife at a police station in Ho Chi Minh City, where they were questioned on their alleged affiliations with the Viet Tan — allegations Professor Hoang’s wife denies. Professor Hoang was taken to an undisclosed location where he has been since held without access to family or his lawyer.
Professor Hoang’s arrest raises concerns of retaliation against a scholar for the peaceful exercise of fundamental rights of free expression and association, which are guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Vietnam is party.
We asked the Vietnamese authorities to disclose Professor Hoang’s current location, to examine the circumstances of Professor Hoang’s detention and, pending his release, to ensure his access to medical care, family and legal counsel.