Viet Nam: immediately release journalist and human rights defender Pham Doan Trang

Ahead of Thursday’s appeal hearing of Pham Doan Trang, a freelance journalist and human rights defender sentenced for propaganda to nine years in prison in December 2021, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director of Research, Emerlynne Gil, said :

“There is no doubt that Pham Doan Trang should never have been sentenced to nine years in prison. She is a courageous journalist and human rights defender who has defended detained activists and criticized man-made environmental disasters and land grabbing.

“Trang’s appeal trial is taking place against a backdrop of continued repression of freedom of expression and civil society in Viet Nam. His ideas and human rights activism are sorely missed. Instead of welcoming her views on the human rights situation in the country, the Vietnamese authorities left her languishing behind bars, with multiple disturbing reports of the fragility of her health.

“Amnesty International calls for the immediate release of Pham Doan Trang and all human rights defenders arbitrarily detained in Viet Nam, including activist Nguyen Thuy Hanh, journalist Le Van Dung and land rights defenders Can Thi Theu, Trinh Ba Tu, Trinh Ba Phuong and Nguyen Thi Tam.

Background:

The Hanoi People’s Court will hold an appeal trial for Pham Doan Trang on August 25. On December 14, 2021, Trang was sentenced to nine years by the court for “manufacturing, storing, distributing or disseminating information, documents and articles against the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam”.

On October 26, 2021, 28 human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, called for the immediate and unconditional release of Pham Doan Trang.

She is the author of several books that cover everything from LGBTI issues and women’s rights to activism, environmental concerns and land rights. In 2019, Reporters Without Borders awarded him a Press Freedom Prize in recognition of his impact. His work on the liberal publishing house won him the prestigious Voltaire Prize in 2020 for his continued coverage despite the risks and dangers of retaliation.

This year, Trang received the 2022 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders and the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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