Nguyen Van Dai is the co-founder of the Vietnam Human Rights Committee and a prodemocracy activist. He has provided legal assistance to government critics and members of religious minorities.
In 2007, Nguyen Van Dai was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment, also for spreading propaganda against the state. After he served his sentence in 2011, he was placed under house arrest for a while.
On 16 December 2015, Nguyen Van Dai was arrested while he was on his way to a meeting with delegates from the European Union as part of the annual EU-Viet Nam Dialogue on Human Rights. His house was searched, items of property seized, and he was transferred immediately to a detention centre. Hereafter, Nguyen Van Dai was held incommunicado for a long period of time.
In 2017, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) published an opinion calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Nguyen Van Dai. The WGAD found that Nguyen 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.