Y Pum Bya
Detained: April 10, 2018.
Charges: "Undermining national unity policy" (Art. 87/1999 VCC)
Sentence: 14 years in prison.
Biography: Y Pum Bya was arested by Vietnamese authorities on April 10, 2018, after accusing him of spreading false information about Vietnam's violations of minority rights and religious freedom in order to convince people to join efforts to establish an independent state. While at the Ea Drong Commune police station, he was allegedly interrogated about his religious activities, tortured, and forced to sign commitments to stop worshipping in a group while belonging to the Gospel Missionary Church. Prior to this most recent arrest, authorities threatened Y Pum Bya with arrest for his religious activities. On March 15, 2017, Y Pum Bya requested permission to register unregistered religious activities in Ea Drong Commune; however, authorities quickly rejected that request and police threatened him with arrest and imprisonment if he continued to engage in his religious activities. On January 31, 2019, Y Pum Bya was sentenced to 14 years in prison and four years’ probation for “undermining national unity policy" (Art. 87/1999 VCC). He is currently imprisoned at Gia Trung Prison in Gia Lai Province.
Y Pum Bya was previously arrested and imprisoned for his religious activity. On February 28, 2002, Vietnamese authorities arrested Y Pum Bya after he requested authorization for unregistered house-churches to conduct religious activities. On December 25, 2002, Y Pum Bya was sentenced to eight years in prison and four years’ probation for “undermining national unity policy" (Art. 87/1999 VCC).
Advocate: Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI)
Advocacy Partner: USCIRF