The UN has criticised Vietnam’s “repeated arrest and torture” of a female Christian activist whose husband, a pastor, is in jail “for peaceful religious activities”.

Tran Thi Hong was targeted for “informing the international community of human rights violations against her husband”, says a statement from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Tran was briefly detained in March, while attempting to meet with a US delegation on religious freedom, reports UCAN, and has since been “repeatedly arrested and harassed”, according to the UN. Tran says state security forces tortured her during an arrest in April and during an 11-day period in May.

“We are concerned that the repeated arrests and the continuing detention of Ms. Tran resulted from her peaceful human rights work and exercise of her fundamental rights, which constitutes arbitrary detention,” the UN statement said.

Her husband, Nguyen Cong Chinh, a director of the Vietnam-US Lutheran Alliance Church, has been in prison since 2011. UCAN says the organisation is considered “anti-government and anti-communist” by Vietnamese authorities.