Vietnam: RSF urges for release of journalist Pham Doan Trang on the third anniversary of her arrest
RSF | 2023.10.05
Detained for three years, prominent Vietnamese journalist and writer Pham Doan Trang is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence on trumped-up charges of “anti-state propaganda”. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the Vietnamese regime to release.
Exactly three years ago, on 6 October 2020, the prominent Vietnamese journalist and writer Pham Doan Trang, was arrested at her home in Ho Chi Minh City, South Vietnam. After being held incommunicado for more than a year, Pham, 45, was sentenced to nine years in prison in December 2021 for “anti-state propaganda”.
“Journalist Pham Doan Trang, who courageously risked her life to provide information to the public, deserves to be celebrated as a hero instead of being persecuted by the Vietnamese regime. We call upon the international community to step up pressure on the regime to obtain her release alongside all other journalists and press freedom defenders detained in Vietnam.
RSF Asia-Pacific Bureau Director
One month before arrest, Pham, founder of the online magazines Luat Khoa and The Vietnamese and 2019 RSF Press Freedom Prize laureate, published an investigative book based on a massacre in a village on the outskirts of Hanoi.
“Doan Trang’s place is in the newsroom, in university lecture halls, in guitar musical shows, not prison. And not in the kind of prison that doesn’t give her the medical attention she desperately needs. The only way to correct this injustice is to release her and respect her rights as a citizen and a human being. The Vietnamese government always claims to be treating citizens with dignity, it’s time it proves it.
Trinh Huu Long
Editor-in-Chief of Luat Khoa Magazine
Since her arrest, Pham has been almost completely separated from her family and friends. In October 2022, she was transferred to a prison located about a thousand miles from her family home, in the South of Vietnam, making it extremely difficult for her 81-year-old mother to visit. She is suffering from the after-effects of the Covid-19 infection she caught in prison, as well as chronic sinusitis, arthritis, and gynecological problems.
In Vietnam, jailed journalists are almost systematically subjected to mistreatment and denied medical care. On 2 August 2022, Do Cong Duong died in detention, at the age of 58, as a result of mistreatment in detention. More recently, in August 2023, the family of detained journalist Le Huu Minh Tuan revealed that he was suffering from a severe scabies infection for which he is still denied medical treatment.
Vietnam ranks 178th out of 180 countries and territories in the 2023 RSF World Press Freedom Index and is among the world’s worst jailers of journalists.