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Y Pum Bya, 57, is a Montagnard Protestant church leader serving the Ede ethnic group in Dak Lak Province, Vietnam who has been imprisoned twice for peacefully promoting religious freedom.


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Send a personal letter to Nguyen Bac Truyen at:

► An Diem Prison, Dai Hung commune, Dai Loc district, Quang Nam province, Vietnam.

► Or call: +84 (0235) 377 4502.

Bya’s work includes

Documenting rights abuses of religious communities in Vietnam who are persecuted simply because they do not belong to state-sanctioned religious organizations.

Advocating for the release of prisoners of conscience and
providing support and assistance to their families.

Providing pro-bono legal assistance and human rights training to victims of illegal land expropriation, families of prisoners of conscience, and marginalized religious communities.

Co-founding the Vietnam Coalition Against Torture, which advocates for the abolition of torture and all forms of illtreatment.

Coordinating assistance for disabled war veterans who face discrimination from the government.


Y Pum Bya and his family become Christians and start worshipping in independent house churches affiliated with the Good News Mission Church. Police raid a Christmas gathering at his home and detain him for ten days for "illegal assembly".



February 28, 2002: Y Pum Bya is arrested after requesting authorization for unregistered house churches to conduct religious activities.

December 25, 2002: Sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment and four years’ probation for “undermining national unity” under Criminal Code Article 87.

2002 – 2009: Imprisoned at Nam Ha Prison in northern Ha Nam Province, 1,200 km (745 miles) from his family.

May 26, 2009: Released from prison, he returns to Buon Kmien village, where he serves his four-year probation. This consists of mandatory supervision and monitoring by local authorities and frequent police harassment, threats, and interrogation.



March 15, 2017: Requests permission to register religious activities in Ea Drong Commune. Authorities promptly reject his request, and police again threaten him with arrest and imprisonment unless he stops his religious activities.

April 10, 2018: Arrested and charged with disseminating distorted information about Vietnam’s violations of minority rights and religious freedom, and recruiting people to join efforts to create an independent Montagnard state. During police interrogation he is beaten and forced to renounce his faith.



January 31, 2019: Y Pum Bya is sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment and four years’ probation under Article 87.


Currently imprisoned in Gia Trung Prison in Gia Lai Province.

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