Little is known about the relationship between traumatic head injury (THI) and psychiatric morbidity in torture survivors. We examine the relationship between THI and depression, PTSD, post-concussive syndrome (PCS), disability and poor health status in Vietnamese ex-political detainees who survived incarceration in Vietnamese re-education camps. A community sample of ex-political detainees (n = 337) and a non-THI, non-ex-detainee comparison group (n = 82) were surveyed. Seventy-eight percent of the ex-political detainees had experienced THI; 90.6% of the ex-political detainees and 3.6% of the comparison group had experienced 7 or more trauma events. Depression and PTSD were greater in ex-detainees than in the comparison group (40.9% vs 23.2% and 13.4% vs 0%). Dose-effect relationships for THI and trauma/torture in the ex-political detainee group were significant. Logistic regression in the pooled sample of ex-detainees and the comparison group confirmed the independent impact of THI from trauma/torture on psychiatric morbidity (OR for PTSD = 22.4; 95% CI: 3.0-165.8). These results demonstrate important effects of THI on depression and PTSD in Vietnamese ex-detainees who have survived torture.