Fighting against land grabs in Vietnam

Can Thi Theu is a land rights defender from Vietnam. She has been campaigning against land seizures and documenting it, in Hanoi and its surrounding provinces since 2007, when her family´s farm was confiscated.

April 2014: first arrest

Local residents protest against land-grab and evictions in Ha Dong district in Hanoi. The police attacks the protesters with sticks and batons.

Can Thi Theu and her husband document the situation. She is beaten by the police and arrested for 'resisting on-duty state officials'.

After 15 months of imprisonment, Can Thi Theu was released from prison in July 2015.

January 2016: second arrest

Around 100 people join in a peaceful protest in Hanoi, against attempts by the local government to seize family farms.

The police surrounded the demonstrators and arrested some of them, including Can Thi Theu.

Protesters were conducted to a police station and later released.

June 2016: third and current arrest

Can Thi Theu participates in a peaceful demonstration (April) commemorating the 10th anniversary of a pro-democracy group and demanding the release of detained human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai.

Police officers entered and searched Can Thi Theu´s home, confiscated her mobile phone and arrested her for 'causing public disorder'.

Can Thi Theu went on a hunger strike for 13 days. She stopped on her lawyer´s advice, alarmed at her deteriorating health.
Can Thi Theu´s sons were briefly arrested for calling for the liberation of their mother.
Frontline Defenders issued an urgent appeal calling for the immediate and unconditional release, her physical and psychological integrity, and security.


1. United Nations Photo; scene from Hnaoi, Viet Nam; May 23, 2015; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 2. United Nations Photo; food and agriculture, Viet Nam; June 25, 2011; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 3. United Nations Photo; Electrical transmission towers in Viet Nam; June 23, 2011; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 4. Tyler Ingram; Harvesting rice; October 14, 2012; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 5. Sida Swedish Int. Development; vietnam_mission_cyclist; May 26, 2005; (CC BY-NC 2.0). 6. Taken from Reuters.com