UCA discloses how Pham Doan Trang is a "woman of freedom" and summarizes her works on defending human rights and freedom in Vietnam.


Excerpt:

Well-known human rights activist and dissident journalist Pham Doan Trang has been sentenced to nine years in jail for “conducting propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.”

The People’s Court of Hanoi City on Dec. 14 convicted her on charges that included giving interviews to foreign newspapers and publishing reports on marine pollution and religious violations in Vietnam.

Trang, who won the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Press Freedom Prize for Impact in 2019, was arrested in October 2020 in Ho Chi Minh City, just a few hours after the annual human rights dialogue between the United States and Vietnam.

The activist is the founder of Luatkhoa.org, an online magazine that specializes in providing legal information. Before her arrest, she was an editor of Thevietnamese.org, which assists Vietnamese citizens to defend their rights in the communist-run country.

Lawyer Mieng said during a meeting with the lawyers at the No. 1 Prison before the trial, Trang told him that she always prays for the nation and all people to be in love, good health and peace although she does not follow any religion. She sent her warm regards to other activists and friends.

Pham Thanh Nghien, a rights activist and Trang's close friend, said she was sentenced to nine years in prison for daring to speak up for freedom and truth.

"Those who have dared to commit themselves to freedom are always liberals even in prison. Pham Doan Trang is always a woman of freedom," Nghien said.

Trang reportedly told the jury that the longer the sentence, the more they prove the dictatorial and anti-democratic nature of the Vietnam government.

"You can put me in jail and crow that you have erased a thorn in your eyes, but you will never be able to erase the bad reputation, dictatorship and anti-democracy. As beasts are forever animals, they can never become human," she said.


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