Nguyen Van Dai is the co-founder of the Vietnam Human Rights Committee and a pro-democracy activist. He has provided legal assistance to various government critics and members of religious minorities.
In 2007, Van Dai was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for spreading anti-state propaganda. At the conclusion of his sentence he was placed under house arrest.
On 16 December 2015, Van Dai was arrested again while on his way to a meeting of the annual EU-Viet Nam Dialogue on Human Rights. His house was searched, items of his property seized, and he was transferred immediately to a detention centre. Hereafter, he was held incommunicado.
In 2017, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) published an opinion calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Van Dai. The WGAD found that Van Dai’s arrest and detention were arbitrary and designed to prevent him from exercising his right to freely express his views on the political and human rights situation in Viet Nam.
On 5 April 2018, Nguyen Van Dai was sentenced to 15 years in prison and 5 years of house arrest. He was accused of “trying to overthrow the government”.
On 7 June 2018, Nguyen Van Dai was released from prison and exiled to Germany.