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Profile of Nguyen Van Hoa

Nguyen Van Hoa. Source: Pham Thanh Nghien Facebook
Full Name Other names (alias)
Nguyen Van Hoa Nguyễn Văn Hóa
Latest sentence Latest prison Current status Profile last updated:
7 years Cau Dong prison, Ha Tinh province Sentenced November 29, 2017
DOB Gender Occupation Religion Ethnicity Areas of Activism
April 15, 1995 M Citizen journalist Catholic Kinh Citizen journalism,


Arrest Trial Defense counsels Sentence Charges Prisons Release
January 11, 2017 November 27, 2017 None 7 years imprisonment

3 years probation

Art. 88 Cau Dong prison, Ha Tinh province
Immediate Concerns  
Background Born in 1995, Hoa is a young Catholic activist from Ky Anh, Ha Tinh province, one of the areas that were most affected by the environmental disaster caused by Formosa dumping industrial waste into the sea.
Activism After the Formosa environmental disaster occurred in April 2016, Nguyen Van Hoa was active in assisting fishermen’s families in demanding compensation and justice. A digital security trainer and regular contributor to RFA, Hoa’s live broadcast of footage of peaceful protests in October 2016 outside Taiwan-owned Formosa’s steel plant in Ha Tinh province, using a flycam drone, went viral.
Details of Imprisonment



Ha Tinh police arrested Nguyen Van Hoa on January 11, 2017 on the street, accusing him of “motorbike theft and drug dealership.”  His family only received the temporary detention notice from the authorities on January 23, in which Ha Tinh police informed them that he was being detained under Article 258 of the 1999 Penal Code for “abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the State and the rights and legitimate interests of organizations and citizens.”

The authorities did not officially announce Hoa’s arrest until April 6, 2017. He was held in pre-trial detention at Cau Dong prison, Ha Tinh province.

On June 15, 2017, the authorities formally changed his charges from Art. 258 to Art. 88 (“propaganda against the socialist state”). In the same month, his family was informed that Hoa refused to have a defense lawyer.

On November 27, 2017, in a secret trial, Hoa was sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment and 3 years of probation. Neither a defense lawyer nor his family was present at the trial. State-owned media, citing the indictment against Nguyen Van Hoa, stated the accusation as follow: “Since 2013, Nguyen Van Hoa has created the Facebook page Nguyễn Văn Hóa (Maria Luygonjaga) in order to share and distribute articles, videos, and images with content that incites, distorts the truth, and propagates reactionary arguments against the directives and policies of the Party and the State. The goal was to incite people to gather and protest the enviromental issue at sea and the flooding in Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh.”

Physical health history  
Mental health history  
Family situation  
Support the Family  
Contact information  
Actions Taken On February 15, 2017, Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action, calling on Vietnam to release Hoa and two other human rights defenders, Tran Thi Nga and Nguyen Van Oai, unconditionally and immediately.

On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, human rights and digital security organizations issued a joint letter, calling on Vietnam to free young citizen journalist Nguyễn Văn Hóawho was arrested in January under Art. 88. “With mounting social and environmental challenges, the government of Vietnam should welcome transparency and peaceful dialogue. Repressing citizen journalists is not only a violation of human rights but also a major impediment to Vietnam’s aspirations to become a tech and innovation hub,” the statement said.

Resources Prisoner’s writing and speech

Footage by Nguyen Van Hoa’s flycam recording the protest in front of Formosa’s steel plant in Ha Tinh province.

Information/Campaign by family and supporters
Legal documents
Media:, Nguyễn Văn Hóa – người đầu tiên trong năm 2017 bị bắt theo điều 258

BBC Vietnamese, Ông Nguyễn Văn Hóa bị tạm giam vì vi phạm điều 258 BLHS

BBC Vietnamese, Báo VN nói Nguyễn Văn Hóa nhận ‘ngàn đô’ để kích động

Press archive on Defend the Defenders

Relevant materials

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Vietnam Free Expression Newsletter No. 40/2017 – Week of November 27-December 3 – THE 88 PROJECT
  2. Vietnam Free Expression Newsletter No. 42/2017 – Week of December 11-17 – THE 88 PROJECT

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