Toán Trần – An Agent of the Vietnamese Government?

Toán Trần - Just Another Government Shill

The story of Thien Am Ben Bo Vu Tru (TABBVT) continues draw attention from the international community.  From Inside Asia would like to take a closer deep dive into an individual who once supported TABBVT.  Toán Trần initially was a defender of TABBVT.  However, as we have previously reported, the vietnamese government does not take too kindly to individuals who go against the narrative as exemplified in this article The Arrest of  Toán Trần. Toán Trần is no stranger to the controversy his videos create.  After his run in with the authorities, Mr. Trần’s current videos completely reverse the narrative he once supported.  We can only speculate that he has entered into a cooperative agreement with the government, or that he knows he is being watched.  Whatever the reason, Mr. Trần has completely set his focus on the supporters of TABBVT.

In his most recent video, he shows a partial clip of Quynh Nguyen’s (Mother Mushroom) interrogation of her 2016 arrest.  What Mr. Trần fails to mention in the clip is that the United States, the European Union and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights demanded Mother Mushroom’s release and stated that the government’s arrest of her violated international human rights norms, as well as Vietnam’s domestic laws on human rights.

Ted Osius, the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam said he was “deeply concerned” about the Vietnamese government’s detention of activists and stated: “This trend threatens to overshadow Vietnam’s progress on human rights.”

Bärbel Kofler, the Human Rights Commissioner for the German Federal Government, issued a statement on 11 October on the arrest: “… this would be another serious violation of the human rights principles and international rules that Viet Nam has made a commitment to uphold.”

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a news release: “Article 88 effectively makes it a crime for any Vietnamese citizen to enjoy the fundamental freedom to express an opinion, to discuss or to question the Government and its policies. The overly broad, ill-defined scope of this law makes it all too easy to quash any kind of dissenting views and to arbitrarily detain individuals who dare to criticize Government policies.”

On 29 June 2017, she was sentenced to 10 years of jail by a court in Khánh Hòa Province after being found guilty of publishing propaganda against the state.

On 17 October 2018, she was released from prison and exiled. She and her family have been granted political asylum in the United States.

Shedding Light on Toán Trần's Own Arrest

Toán Trần can mock Quynh’s interrogation all he likes, but let’s dig into his own arrest.  The last paragraph of his own arrest story which is linked above is very telling.  In particuliar:

At the trial, the accused Toan sincerely confessed and agreed to compensate the victims for their losses. The court then sentenced Tran Minh Toan to the above-mentioned punishment.

Unlike Quynh, Toán Trần folded like a house of cards. His days are now spent trying to intimidate, and ridicule those who actually fight for the rights of those in Vietnam.  Toán Trần now uses his channels to spread lies, and fake news to the people of Vietnam, and his followers in the U.S.  This causes fear for people in the U.S. who may be planning on return trips to Vietnam, as well as those currently living in Vietname who may be sympathetic towards TABBVT.    

Toán Trần - Essentially a Puppet for Government Propaganda

In conclusion, we can see from Toán Trần’s videos that he is just a spokesperson for the state.  He vehemently defends the government in all of it’s actions, and condemns anyone who questions the narrative.  We ask all those who follow him to not let his rhetoric cloud your judgement.  IF you repeat a lie enough times, soon it will be accepted as the truth.  Go through his videos and count the number of times he says “I’m telling the truth”.  

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