Family Says O.C. Man Imprisoned by Vietnamese Government ‘Without Cause or Charges’

The family of Michael Nguyen was joined by Rep. Mimi Walters for a press conference at City Hall in Irvine on Aug. 2, 2018. (Credit: Gabriel S. Scarlett / Los Angeles Times)

The family of Michael Nguyen was joined by Rep. Mimi Walters for a press conference at City Hall in Irvine on Aug. 2, 2018. (Credit: Gabriel S. Scarlett / Los Angeles Times)

The family of a man missing for a month in Vietnam announced Thursday that he has been detained by the government and imprisoned in Saigon “without cause or charges.”

Michael Phuong Minh Nguyen had been found alive with no “visible signs of abuse,” according to U.S. Embassy officials who notified family members on Wednesday. The father of four daughters had left his home in Orange County on June 27 — intending to tour central Vietnam with friends before stopping to visit relatives in the southern part of the country.

When he did not fly home as expected on July 16, his wife frantically tried to locate her 54-year-old husband. Using social media and tapping into Vietnamese-language media, she spread news of his case. His disappearance stoked fears in the Vietnamese community in Southern California of the dangers of traveling to a country where human rights and basic freedoms are restricted.

“He was making a personal trip. He has done nothing wrong. More than anything, we just want him back safely,” said his wife, Helen Nguyen, an operating room nurse. She was accompanied by her daughters at a press conference near their Orange County home.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.