Trang, who was arrested in October 2020, was charged under Article 117 of Vietnam’s Penal Code for “making or spreading propaganda against the state.” She was convicted in December 2021 after a one-day trial and is currently serving a nine-year long prison term.
In their announcement, the CPJ highlights the many abuses and difficulties she faced prior to her imprisonment such the constant harassment she faced from the police and the permanent and debilitating limp she received from the beatings of Vietnamese state forces. They also add that Pham Doan Trang is one of at least 23 other Vietnamese journalists “held behind bars for their work.”
By giving her this award, the CPJ hopes to “[shine] a spotlight on the deteriorating press freedom environment in Vietnam, which is among the five worst jailers of journalists worldwide.”
Prior to her arrest, Pham Doan Trang served as one of the co-founders and editor for Legal Initiatives for Vietnam (LIV). Aside from the IPFA, she has also received several other international accolades in the past such as the International Women of Courage Award and the Canada-United Kingdom Media Freedom Award.
On June 2 2022, Pham Doan Trang was one of the three human rights defenders given the Martin Ennals Award for their “courage and unique contributions” to the international human rights movement. Her mother, Bui Thi Thien Can, received this award on her daughter’s behalf.