Vietnamese authorities were greatly displeased with the United States' decision to include human rights defender and journalist Pham Doan Trang as one of the 2022 International Women of Courage awardees.   The famed dissident was convicted for "spreading anti-state propaganda" last year.

The economic and trade relations between the countries has greatly improved but the US has never condoned Vietnam's systematic human rights violations.  


The country objected to the United States granting a prize for courage to a dissident writer jailed for nine years for anti-state propaganda, describing her award as “unobjective and unsuitable”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Pham Doan Trang as winner on Monday of an International Women of Courage prize at a ceremony attended by First Lady Jill Biden, where Blinken condemned what he called an unjust imprisonment.

Ties between former war foes the United States and Vietnam have improved significantly in recent years, with increased trade and investments by US firms, and regular visits by presidents and top officials from Washington.

However, Vietnam’s human rights record has been a sticking point in the relationship, with the United States critical of the government’s intolerance of dissent and frequent jailing and harassment of those who speak out.

Trang, who published material widely on human rights and alleged police brutality in Vietnam, was detained by authorities hours after an annual US-Vietnam human rights dialogue in October 2020.