Urgent Action Update: Growing Health Fears For Prisoner Of Conscience (Viet Nam:UA 284/15)

Urgent Action
February 24, 2017
Denied proper medical treatment by prison authorities since April 2015, when she was first diagnosed with a tumour on her uterus, Trần Thị Thúy is no longer able to walk without assistance. A prisoner of conscience, she has been detained since her arrest in 2010 and has expressed fears of death due to appalling prison conditions.
Trần Thị Thúy, a Hoa Hao Buddhist and land activist, is serving an eight-year prison sentence after being convicted of “activities aimed at overthrowing” the state, under Article 79 of the 1999 Penal Code. She was arrested in August 2010 and is currently detained in An Phước Detention Centre, Bình Dương province. 
Following a recent visit, her family have said that the tumour in her uterus continues to grow and, due to the pain, she is no longer able to walk without assistance. Trần Thị Thúy is also suffering from painful boils all over her body that grow slowly to the size of a small rice bowl and burst, emitting blood and pus. At any given time, she has six or seven boils on her body, and as soon as one bursts another grows somewhere else. Despite the real risk of infection, increased by the fact that Trần Thị Thúy sleeps on the floor of her prison cell, prison authorities have refused to give her the medical patches brought by her family to cover the boils.
In addition, her family have repeatedly told the authorities that they are willing to pay for private medical care but this has been refused. The cause of the boils remains unknown and the prison authorities continue to deny her adequate and proper medical treatment for them, as well as the tumour in her uterus. 
Trần Thị Thúy’s mental health has improved since she stopped taking medicine provided by the prison authorities. Unlike on previous visits, where she appeared confused and paranoid, her family felt that she had regained mental clarity and was again able to engage in coherent conversation. Trần Thị Thúy has said that she does not know how long she will be able to survive without medical treatment in the appalling conditions of the prison.
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Immediately and unconditionally release Trần Thị Thúy as she is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for peaceful activities in defending human rights;
  • Immediately provide Trần Thị Thúy with appropriate medical care, in accordance with her wishes, including treatment in hospital, and failing which allow the family to arrange for her health care. 
Contact these 2 officials by 31 March, 2017:
Minister of Public Security 
To Lam 
44 Yết Kiêu St. Hoàn Kiếm District Hà Nội, Việt Nam 
Fax: + 844 3823 1872 
Salutation: Dear Minister
Ambassador H.E. Pham Quang Vinh
Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
1233 20th St NW Suite #400, Washington DC 20036
Fax: 1 202 861 0917
Phone: 1 202 861 0737
Salutation: Dear Ambassador 
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