PIN asks for immediate release of journalist and Homo Homini aWard laureate Pham Doan TrangPublikováno: Oct 27, 2021 Reading time: 3 minutes
Ahead of her upcoming trial on 4 November, People in Need joins other international and local human rights organizations to condemn the ongoing arbitrary detention of independent journalist and 2017 Homo Homini laureate Pham Doan Trang. We call on the Vietnamese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release and drop all charges against her.
Pham Doan Trang was arrested more than a year ago in Ho Chi Minh City, on 7 October 2020, and charged with “making, storing, distributing or disseminating information, documents and items against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam” (also known as “anti-state propaganda”) under Article 88 of the 1999 Penal Code.
Since her arrest, Doan Trang has been held incommunicado, until 19 October 2021, when she was finally allowed to meet with one of her lawyers after having been denied access to her family and legal representation for over a year. According to her lawyer, Doan Trang is suffering serious medical concerns. Doan Trang’s legs, which were broken by the police in 2015, have been in greater pain as a result of the denial of adequate medical care during her detention.
It is clear that Doan Trang is being persecuted for her long-standing work as an independent journalist, book publisher, and human rights defender, known for writing about topics ranging from environmental rights to police violence, as well as for her advocacy for press freedom. The published indictment of Doan Trang calls attention to three specific pieces of writing, including a book-length report about the 2016 Formosa disaster; a 2017 report on the freedom of religion in Vietnam; and an undated article titled ‘General assessment of the human rights situation in Vietnam.’ The indictment also accuses her of speaking with two foreign media, Radio Free Asia and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
We denounce this unacceptable denial of her rights to a fair trial and freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment and call for an immediate end to her arbitrary detention, and for all charges against her to be dropped.
Doan Trang is among the leading voices and best-known independent writers in Vietnamese civil society and recognized internationally for her human rights advocacy. She is the author of thousands of articles, blog entries, Facebook posts, and numerous books about politics, social justice, and human rights.
Doan Trang is no stranger to harassment and intimidation for her writing and human rights advocacy. In 2015, she was beaten so badly by security forces that she was left disabled and has since often needed crutches to aid her mobility. In 2018, she was hospitalized after being subjected to torture in police custody. For three years preceding her arrest, she was forced to move constantly and lived in fear of intimidation and harassment by police and other state authorities.
To recognize her courageous activism to defend human rights in Vietnam, People in Need presented Doan Trang with the 2017 Homo Homini Award. In 2019, she was presented the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Award Prize for Impact. In 2020, the International Publishers Association awarded her organization, the Liberal Publishing House, with their Prix Voltaire Award.