US State Department honors Pham Doan Trang as one of the 12 'courageous woman in the world.'


Note:  Original texts in Vietnamese.

Independent journalist Pham Doan Trang, who is being imprisoned by the Vietnamese Communist Party with a nine-year sentence, has just been honored by the US State Department as one of 12 courageous women in the world.

First Lady Jill Biden said during the ceremony that the US government continues to campaign for democracy to stop those who want to silence those who fight for human rights.

Foreign Minister Antony Blinken condemned the unjust detention of Pham Doan Trang and called on Hanoi to immediately release her.

The US State Department said that Ms. Pham Doan Trang, 44 years old, is an internationally renowned author, blogger, journalist, and human rights defender. What she writes or gives interviews is based on well-researched legal arguments to promote human rights, legal equality as well as freedom of expression in Vietnam.

Pham Doan Trang used to be a journalist working for a number of newspapers of the communist government, but later quit blogging because she could not write what she wanted to write. She was severely injured by the Vietnamese Communist Police while attending an environmental protest in Hanoi or singing in Saigon. She escaped the police's hunt by constantly changing her place of residence but still could not escape.

On December 14, 2021, she was sentenced to nine years in prison in a trial denounced as defying the provisions of the regime's own Criminal Procedure Law.

She was falsely accused of “making, possessing or propagating against” the authoritarian one-party government in Vietnam. The Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam recognizes that citizens have full rights to freedom of the press, speech, assembly, and demonstration, but people are still imprisoned based on vague criminal laws that can be explained in reverse.

Her writings "promote human rights, good governance, and people's right to access justice," according to the State Department. “As an independent journalist, she courageously reported on social issues that were not covered by the (regime) press.”

Last month, on February 10, the United Kingdom and Canada announced the awarding of the 2022 Media Freedom Award to independent journalist Pham Doan Trang for her "efforts to fight for freedom of the press, media, and protect writers, as well as honor lesser-known organizations and individuals.”

The US government, international human rights protection agencies, all condemned the Vietnamese Communists for imprisoning her and demanding her immediate release, but to no avail.

Before the sentencing trial of Pham Doan Trang late last year, the United Nations Human Rights Commission issued a statement calling her one of the human rights victims of the Vietnamese government.