Pham Van Troi

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Pham Van Troi

Other Names: Phạm Văn Trội

Date of Birth: October 10, 1972

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Author

Last Known Prison: Ba Sao prison, Nam Ha province

Areas of Activism:

  • Democracy
  • Human rights
  • Labor rights
  • Land rights

Known Affiliations:

Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:

  • Former Political Prisoner
  • Harsh Physical and Administrative Conditions
  • Denial of Family Visit/Punitive Prison Transfer

March 2023:

Update on writer Pham Van Troi from his wife Nguyen Huyen Trang, given to Project 88 after she visited him in Nam Ha Prison on March 12, 2023: When fellow cellmate Le Dung Vova was transferred to a different camp, he gave all his books to Troi, but prison officials did not let Troi keep them. They don’t let him use pen and paper to write or learn English. When Troi spoke in English to his son to bypass the guards that were listening in, they cut off his phone. Troi’s mental health has declined.

According to doctors in the Ha Nam Hospital, Troi suffers from diabetes, abnormal blood pressure, and scabies on his skin. Nam Ha does not allow families to send food to inmates, so Troi has to buy supplemental nutrition and supplies from the canteen at an exorbitant cost. Families are allowed to visit only once a month and are limited in what they can bring. Many political prisoners are allegedly kept in the Disciplinary Section, which consists of rooms about seven square meters in size with only one window. Four persons are kept in each room. They’re allowed to go out to a small courtyard twice a day. Sanitary conditions, especially the water, are allegedly very poor.

Details - History of Activism.

Pham Van Troi is a human rights and pro-democracy activist and member of the Broterhood for Democracy, which was founded by imprisoned human rights lawyey Nguyen Van Dai. He was previously president of the group. Troi has faced harassment for authorities for his activism. In May 2015, he was one of many activists barred from meeting with US diplomats during the US and Vietnam's Human Righs Diailogue. His home was also attacked by plainclothes agents in December 2016. 

Pham Van Troi Facebook

Amnesty International, Urgent Action, Activists Held Incommunicado May Face Life in Prison, September 8, 2017

Many Vietnamese Activists Detained, Charged with Subversion, Defend the Defenders, July 30, 2017

Vietnamese activists arrested in widening crackdown, Reuters, July 30, 2017

Six Vietnamese Activists Sentenced for 'Subversion' in Hanoi Trial, Radio Free Asia, April 5, 2018

Arrested September 11, 2008. Sentenced to 4 years in prison under Art. 88 (1999 Code). Released September 11, 2012.

September 11, 2008
  • Art. 88 (1999 Code)
October 8, 2009
4 years in prison
September 11, 2012

Arrested July 30, 2017. Sentenced to 7 years in prison under Art. 79 (1999 Code). Expected Release is July 30, 2024.

July 30, 2017
  • Art. 79 (1999 Code)
April 5, 2018
Ngo Anh Tuan
7 years in prison
July 30, 2024
First arrest:
Pham Van Troi was arrested in 2008 and later sentenced in 2010 four years in prison under Article 88 of the 1999 Criminal Code ("propaganda against the state").
Second arrest:
Pham Van Troi was arrested at his home in Hanoi on July 30, 2017. Also arrested, coinciding with Troi's arrest, were Pastor Nguyen Trung Ton, Truong Minh Duc, and Nguyen Bac Truyen (who was assumed to be arrested after being kidnapped). Troi was charged under Article 79 of the 1999 Criminal Code for subversion. 
December 2017:
Authorities announced they finished investigations into several members of the Brotherhood for Democracy, a group founded by lawyer Nguyen Van Dai that was targeted with harassment and arrests during much of 2017. Authorities have recommended that Nguyen Trung Ton, Pham Van Troi, Nguyen Bac Truyen, Truong Minh Duc, and Dai and his colleague Le Thu Ha, be prosecuted. 

April 2018:

On April 5, in a one-day trial, six activists, whose backgrounds range from defending religious freedom, to environmental rights, to multi-party democracy, were sentenced to a combined 66 years in prison and 17 years of house arrest under Article 79 of the 1999 Criminal Code. Five of the activists are key members of the pro-democracy group, The Brotherhood for Democracy. All have been known to support political prisoners and their families and advocate for human rights. Pham Van Troi was sentenced to 7 years in prison and one year of house arrest.

In late April 2018, Nguyen Trung Ton, Pham Van Troi, Truong Minh Duc, and Nguyen Bac Truyen appealed their sentences.

May 2018:

Several relatives of jailed members of the Brotherhood for Democracy were prohibited from meeting with foreign diplomats. Nguyen Van Dai and Pham Van Troi’s wives were effectively placed under house arrest ahead of the meeting, and several other relatives of political prisoners were blocked from attending the meeting while in transit. A few relatives were able to meet with the diplomats and updated them on the prisoners. The meeting came just days before the bilateral US-Vietnam human rights dialogue on May 15.

June 2018:

Three Brotherhood for Democracy members – Nguyen Trung Ton, Truong Minh Duc, and Pham Van Troi– as well as religious freedom activist Nguyen Bac Truyen, had their appeals denied on June 4.

December 2020:

Writer Pham Van Troi‘s wife went to visit him on December 13, 2020. She said that Troi’s health is stable. She also said that Ho Duc Hoa, a social activist, was then on his 5th day of a hunger strike and was in poor condition.

October 2019:

On October 13, 2019, Huyen Trang, wife of political prisoner Pham Van Troi, went to visit him in prison. According to her, Troi was in very bad health. He had been submitting a petition to be medically examined at the hospital for months because he was very tired and sometimes passed out while working. Finally, the prison managers took him to the General Hospital of Ha Nam province. However, when he was at the hospital, his hands were always handcuffed, and he drew a lot of attention from other people. He was only free from being handcuffed while inside the exam room. 

September 2017:

Amnesty International released an Urgent Action for Pham Van Troi, Truong Minh Duc, and Nguyen Trung Ton. The three were arrested on July 30, 2017, under Article 79 for ties to the Brotherhood for Democracy. They are being held in incommunicado detention and need access to healthcare treatment.

Several UN Rapporteurs released a letter expressing concern about the arrests and detentions of Nguyen Bac Truyen, Truong Minh Duc, Nguyen Trung Ton, Pham Van Troi, Nguyen Van Tuc, and Le Dinh Luong. They highlighted the issue that these arrests took place during a concerted crackdown on human rights activists and point out that Vietnam has international obligations to protect universal freedoms, such as the rights to freedom of expression and assembly. 

April 2018:

Governments, advocacy groups, and individuals alike have condemned the harsh sentences against Ton and his co-defendants. “The Vietnamese government should thank them for their efforts to improve the country instead of arresting and putting them on trial," said Human Rights Watch's Asia Director, Brad Adams, in a statement ahead of the trial. The Spokesperson of the EU External Action division noted in their statement that the rights exercised by the defendants are "guaranteed by the Vietnamese Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights."  The United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister, Harriett Baldwin, agreed that peaceful expression of one's opinions should not be considered a crime. Heather Nauert, US State Department Spokesperson, also supported other governments and organizations in calling for the release of the prisoners and for Vietnam to uphold international obligations. "Individuals have the right to the fundamental freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, both online and offline," she said in her statement.

June 2018:

After Troi's appeal trial, Amnesty International released a statement condemning the decision to uphold his and his co-defendants' sentences, saying that: "These activists have been deliberately silenced by Vietnam’s authorities for bravely speaking out in a country where freedom of expression is under attack."

June-July 2018:

Pham Van Troi was sent from B14 detention center in Hanoi to Sao prison camp.

December 2018:

Nguyen Thi Lanh, Nguyen Trung Ton's wife, and other relatives of imprisoned activists met with US Embassy representatives in Hanoi to raise concerns about the health and treatment of Ton, and fellow imprisoned Brotherhood for Democracy members Truong Minh DucTran Thi Xuan, and Pham Van Troi, in prison. 

Profile last updated: 2023-04-07 19:07:26

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