The morning after accepting the "Prize for Impact" award, journalist and blogger Pham Doan Trang sat down with Nguoi-Viet for a private interview where she reveals her thoughts on the Press Freedom Prize award and the challenges that she and other conscientious Vietnamese journalists are facing in order to do their job.

Title: Blogger Phạm Đoan Trang được trao giải ‘Press Freedom Prize 2019’
Publish Date: September 13, 2019
Publisher: Nguoi Viet


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Note:  Original text in Vietnamese.

Blogger Pham Doan Trang was awarded the 'Press Freedom Prize 2019'

BERLIN, Germany (NV) – At dawn Vietnam time on Friday, September 13, blogger and freelance journalist Pham Doan Trang was honored to be one of three people jointly awarded the “Press Freedom Prize 2019” by Reporter. Reporters Without Borders.

The award ceremony took place solemnly at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. The person who represented blogger Pham Doan Trang to receive the award was Mr. Trinh Huu Long, editor-in-chief of Law Faculty Magazine.

Pham Doan Trang is the author of many books that are banned from circulation in Vietnam: “Popular Politics,” “A Handbook on Raising Prisoners,” “Non-Violent Resistance”…

She was awarded in the category “The Prize For Impact”

The other two are Saudi journalist Eman al Nafjan and Maltese journalist Caroline Muscat. The special thing is that all three are female journalists.

Reporters Without Borders said in a statement: “The Impact Journalist Award is given to a journalist whose work has made concrete improvements to press freedom and pluralism, or increased awareness of the issues of the press. This topic was given to Vietnamese journalist and blogger Pham Doan Trang. She is a co-founder of Luat Khoa, an online magazine specializing in providing information on legal issues, and also edited the English-language website The Vietnamese to help Vietnamese people protect their human rights. them and against the authoritarian rule of the Communist Party of Vietnam. Pham Doan Trang is the author of many books, including one that defends the rights of the LGBT community in Vietnam. She was beaten by the police for her works and was detained twice in several days in 2018.”

Before the award ceremony took place, journalist Pham Doan Trang explained to VOA Vietnamese Language about the decision not to go to Germany to attend this event: "As far as I know, the German ambassador intervened with the Vietnamese government to they returned the right to carry the passport as well as guarantee the freedom of entry and exit of some Vietnamese activists including myself. The German side is very enthusiastic, but in my experience, they have to negotiate with the Vietnamese police anyway such as: not campaigning, not propagandizing, not slandering the country... otherwise they will prosecute ; they'll also think they'll have a hard time deciding whether or not I'll go home, so it's best for me to decide not to go."

At the end of August, when the news of the nomination for the "Press Freedom Prize 2019" was spread, journalist Pham Doan Trang wrote on his personal page: "I also want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the countless people who have helped me. supported me over the years, quietly or openly, with things that might have been trivial to them. Like many people who have worriedly inquired about my health and sent me medicine. Like thousands of readers have bought, read and read 'Popular Politics,' 'The Prisoner's Handbook,' 'Non-Violent Resistance'… despite the stalking and hunting of the police and public opinion, defying summons for 'reactionary reading.'”

“What can I do to repay them? I understand that I can never be grateful to them all, and no words of thanks are enough. I can only say: For me, it doesn't matter whether I win or not, because there is no prize as precious as your love for me. And to repay the favor, there is nothing like trying, with all that we can, to contribute to a democratic, free Vietnam – in our lifetime,” according to Facebook Pham Doan Trang.

“Fighting for freedom must accept the loss of a large part of freedom and many other things”

On the morning of September 13, right after learning of the award, journalist Pham Doan Trang gave a private interview to Nguoi Viet daily.

*Vietnamese: Looking back on the journey from a state-owned newspaper reporter to the 2019 Press Freedom award of Reporters Without Borders, what do you see yourself having to trade, or lose?

- Journalist Pham Doan Trang: I think I also lost a lot, but I don't want to talk about those losses, because my concept has long been "do not cry, ask not to do." Having accepted to go on the road to fight for freedom, surely it takes a large part of freedom and many other things.

*Vietnamese: At the same time as you received the award, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam denied that Vietnam was in the top 10 countries with the most strict press censorship in the world, what is your comment?

– Journalist Pham Doan Trang: I am neither surprised nor outraged by that reaction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam and the Vietnamese state in general. However, I do know for sure that Ms. Le Thi Thu Hang, as a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has a wealth of experience in dealing with the Vietnamese press and has extensive relationships with Vietnamese journalists. Nam and she understand too well the reality of whether or not Vietnam controls press freedom or not, how tightly it is controlled... Having understood that fact so well that it can still be denied, we must recognize it as an official or cadre. of the Communist Party and State of Vietnam is very good at living both sides and lying without being ashamed.

*Vietnamese: According to you, what challenges, or sufferings, are the journalists in Vietnam facing if they love their job and have a conscience for journalism?

–Journalist Pham Doan Trang: Good question but too broad, to answer it I would need to write at least one book. As succinctly as possible, for me, the biggest torment for a conscientious Vietnamese journalist is the feeling of being powerless, unable to do anything to change the situation, solve problems, save lives. victims of injustice, poverty and human rights violations in Vietnam. (T.K.)


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