Nguyen Cong Chinh
Nguyen Cong Chinh is an evangelical pastor who led the Christian Congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Vietnam and America. In October 2004, Human Rights Watch reported that 200 paramilitary police and local officials destroyed Pastor Chinh’s home, which also served as a Mennonite chapel, on charges that Rev. Chinh had violated building regulations. Rev. Chinh and his wife faced continuing harassment and even beatings by police in the following years. Police again arrested Rev. Chinh on April 28, 2011 on charges of “sabotaging the great national unity policy.” It was alleged that Rev. Chinh had given interviews to foreign media and posted articles on the Internet designed to cause divisiveness both within the country, and between Vietnam and other countries. After a one-day trial on March 26, 2012, Rev. Chinh was sentenced to 11 years in prison. On July 31, 2012, an appeals court upheld the 11-year jail term.
Advocate: Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)
Nguyen Cong Chinh was RELEASED on July 28, 2017 on the condition that he immediately leave Vietnam in exile.