Vietnamese Labor Activist Doan Huy Chuong Released from Prison
Feb 16, 2017
Washington, D.C.: Freedom Now is pleased to announce that Vietnamese labor
rights activist Doan Huy Chuong has been released from prison after the
conclusion of his unjust seven-year sentence. However, while Mr. Doan has been
freed, his colleague, Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung, remains in prison.
“We are relieved to know that Mr. Doan is finally free and has been reunited
with his wife and family—but the international community must not forget his
colleagues, and the many other Vietnamese citizens, who remain imprisoned in
clear violation of international law,” said Freedom Now Executive Director Maran
Greg McGillivary, a partner with the law firm Woodley & McGillivary, added that
“Mr. Doan spent seven years in a Vietnamese prison for peacefully organizing
garment workers. The government must allow workers and advocates to organize and
it must stop violating fundamental international labor rights such as freedom of
Mr. Doan, Mr. Nguyen, and their colleague Do Thi Minh Hanh were arrested in
February 2010 after the trio attempted to organize striking workers at a shoe
factory and circulated a list of the workers’ demands. Authorities held the
activists for eight months before eventually charging them under Vietnam’s
controversial national security laws. Just ten days after being charged, the
trio were tried—without the assistance of legal counsel and without the right to
speak in their own defense—and sentenced to between seven and nine years in
prison. The activists have been repeatedly beaten, subjected to solitary
confinement, and suffered from ill-health as a result of the mistreatment and
poor prison conditions. After more than three years of imprisonment, Ms. Do was
released early in June 2014.
In 2012, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that the imprisonment
of Ms. Do, Mr. Doan, and Mr. Nguyen violated Vietnam’s obligations under
international law and called for their release. Despite this finding, Mr. Nguyen
continues to face years of additional imprisonment.
Freedom Now and Woodley & McGillivary jointly serve as international pro
bono counsel to Ms. Do, Mr. Doan, and Mr. Nguyen and will continue to work on
the case until Mr. Nguyen is released from prison.