Legal Initiatives for VIETNAM joins various human rights organizations in a united call condemning the the arbitrary detention of journalist, pro-democracy supporter and human rights defender, Pham Doan Trang.  The coalition is also pushing for all politically-motivated charges against her to be dropped.


Today, ahead of Pham Doan Trang’s trial on November 4,  Access Now and other human rights organizations are urgently calling on Vietnam’s government to immediately release the independent journalist and human rights defender. The coalition condemns the arbitrary detention of Doan Trang, and is pushing for all charges against her to be dropped.

“The arrest and arbitrary detention of Doan Trang — a prominent civil society leader — is a signal to all that the authorities in Vietnam will quash any critical speech,” said Dhevy Sivaprakasam, Asia Pacific Policy Counsel at Access Now. “She should not have been arrested in the first place — the politically-motivated charges against her must be dropped.”

Doan Trang was arrested in Ho Chi Minh City on October 7, 2020, and charged with “making, storing, distributing or disseminating information, documents and items against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.” She has been held in arbitrary detention and denied access to her family for over a year. She was also prevented from meeting with a lawyer until October 19, 2021. Her indictment  — which was only made public on October 18, 2021  — confirms a charge of alleged dissemination of anti-State propaganda under article 88 of the 1999 Penal Code. A similar charge under article 117 of the 2015 Penal Code was dropped.

Doan Trang is an independent journalist, writer, and human rights advocate with decades of experience in Vietnam, and has won several awards for her work.

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