The CFWIJ strongly condemns the police brutality against journalists.  The organization calls the attacks, harassment and arrest made by the Vietnam authorities against acclaimed journalist, Luat Khoa  and The Vietnamese co-founder Pham Doan Trang "despicable."


RSF’s 2019 Press Freedom Prize winner journalist turned activist Pham Doan Trang was arrested today during a raid at her room that she rented. Due to constantly being chased out by police Pham is deprived of her right to a permanent residence.

Pham had won the “Prize for Impact” last year, which is given to journalists whose work has led to concrete improvements in journalistic freedom, independence and pluralism, or to an increase in awareness of these matters. She is the founder of Luât Khoa, an online magazine that specializes in providing information about legal issues, and she edits another, thevietnamese, which also helps Vietnamese citizens to defend their rights and resist the Communist Party’s arbitrary rule.

Pham covers a wide range of issues including LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, the environment, and democratic activism. She is also known for her on-the-ground activism, taking part in rallies in support of imprisoned dissidents. Pham has been beaten by the police because of her work and was detained arbitrarily twice for several days in 2018. She was also detained and harassed in 2016 after her meeting with the then US President Barack Obama and in 2017 after she met with the European Union delegation to talk about the stifling of human rights in Vietnam.

Her arrest came hours after a bilateral meeting between Vietnam and US State Department. The meeting ironically touched on many important human rights issues including “continued progress and bilateral cooperation on the rule of law, freedom of expression and association, religious freedom and labor rights”.

The Coalition For Women In Journalism finds targeted attacks and legal harassment against Pham Doan Trang utterly despicable. If Vietnam authorities don’t want its journalists to “complain” about human rights issues to foreign officials they should prove that the country is respecting fundamental rights starting with freedom of speech and freedom of expression.