Doan Thi Hong

Current Status: Pre-trial detention

Photo of Doan Thi Hong

Other Names: Đoàn Thị Hồng

Date of Birth: October 10, 1983

Gender: F

Ethnicity: Kinh

Current Prison: HCM city Police detention center, No. 4 Phan Dang Luu, Ho Chi Minh city

Areas of Activism:

  • Freedom of expression
  • Human rights
  • Sovereignty

Known Afilliations:

  • Hiến Pháp

March 2020:

According to Ngo Ngoc Trai, Doan Thi Hong’s (pictured above) attorney, her trial was to be held on March 10, 2020 before the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City, but then postponed without any prior notice. No specific reason for the postponement was given, and the trial has already been re-scheduled multiple times. Hong was upset about the delayed trial, since she had complained to attorney Trai about the temporary detention conditions, where the authorities keep two people in a six square-meters room with no electricity and fans when the weather is getting warmer. Hong was accused of “disrupting security” under Article 118 of the 2015 Criminal Code, for calling for public protest, facing potentially two to seven years of imprisonment. The public security has detained Hong for almost one and a half years under those accusations, despite the fact that she is caring for her child who is under 36 months old. Hong is part of a group of eight defendants, which includes Nguyen Thi Ngoc HanhHoang Thi Thu VangDo The HoaHo Dinh CuongTran Thanh PhuongNgo Van Dung, and Le Quy Loc. Some are members of the Hien Phap group, established on June 16, 2017, with the aim to promote peoples’ understanding of their human rights under the 2013 Constitution.

Details - Background, History of Activism, Family Situation.

Doan Thi Hong, a single mom, was living in Binh Thuan Province prior to her arrest.

Hong was said to participate in the national demonstrations against the bills on Special Economic Zones and Cybersecurity on June 10, 2018.

She is also a member of Hien Phap (Constitution) group, established on June 16, 2017, with the aim to promote people’s understanding of their human rights in the 2013 Constitution.

Hong and other members planned to call for a peaceful demonstration on September 4, two days prior to their arrest, to raise their voice on social issues, including human rights violations, corruption, territorial disputes, and environmental pollution.

Doan Thi Hong has a toddler.

Arrested September 2, 2018. Charged under Art. 118 (2015 Code).

September 2, 2018
  • Art. 118 (2015 Code)
Ho Chi Minh city public security, Ho Chi Minh city
Dong Hung Thuan Ward, District 12, Ho Chi Minh City (map)
Nguyen Van Mieng
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • freedom of peaceful assembly
  • freedom of association
  • political participation

On September 2, while she was hanging out with friends, Hong was arrested by police of Dong Hung Thuan Sub-District, Ward 12, Ho Chi Minh City without neither an announcement of formal charges nor an arrest order.

After a long time looking for her, her family finally found her at a police station at No.4, Phan Dang Luu street, Binh Thanh Ward, Ho Chi Minh City but has not been allowed to meet with her.

The reason of her arrest was most likely due to her intention, along with Hien Phap’s members, to call for a peaceful demonstration on September 4.

Facebooker Thanh Thanh Phan, Hong’s sister, also reported that police confiscated a motorcycle that Hong borrowed from Nguyen Chi Dung. Police said that if this motorcycle belonged to Nguyen Chi Dung, they should write an order to police of Ward 12, where Hong was arrested, to take it back. However, if it belonged to Hong, it is impossible to get it back.

December 2018:

Activists Doan Thi Hong and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hanh may now be charged with “disrupting security” under Article 118 of the 2015 Criminal Code for their involvement in the Hien Phap group, which aims to educate people about their constitutional rights. They face up to 15 years in prison under the charge.

Updated: Police finally released an official document on Doan Thi Hong’s detention, which her sister, Doan Thi Khanh, had requested many times. This official document was sent to lawyer Nguyen Van Mieng and said that the People’s Procuracy of Ho Chi Minh City had accepted Mieng's request to be Hong's defense counsel.

July 2019:

On July 18, 2019, the families of five activists -- Ngo Van Dung, Ho Dinh Cuong, Tran Thanh PhuongDoan Thi Hong, and Hoang Thi Thu Vang -- sent a letter to the Prime Minister and many other government institutions denouncing the fives' unlawful arrests and detentions over a period of more than 10 months. According to the letter, in September 2018, all of the five activists were arrested without official warrants. Since their arrests, they have been held in Ho Chi Minh City's detention center. The public security of Ho Chi Minh City announced to the families that four of them are charged with “disrupting public order” under Article 118 Penal Code, with a possible sentence of between seven and 15 years in prison. 

October 2019:

On October 4, Doan Thi Hong's daughter was able to visit her mother in prison again.

Relatives of five detained members of the Hien Phap group, which aims to educate citizens about their constitutional rights, are planning to sue the Ho Chi Minh City Police Department, alleging that their loved ones were arrested without warrants and held for many weeks in unknown locations before the families were notified. The five cases represented are those of Ngo Van Dung, Doan Thi Hong, Hoang Thi Thu VangHo Dinh Cuong, and Tran Thanh Phuong. The families also say that they have not received notice on the various extensions of the fives' investigation periods. All were arrested in September 2018 and remain in pre-trial detention. They have also not been permitted to meet with their lawyers and were only allowed to meet with their families for the first time last month. 

February 2020:

Eight activists will face trial by the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City on March 10 on charges of "disrupting security" under Article 118 of the 2015 Criminal Code. The eight have been detained without trial for almost a year and a half. Authorities have previously postponed the trial twice. The group of eight defendants includes Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hanh, Hoang Thi Thu VangDo The HoaHo Dinh CuongTran Thanh PhuongNgo Van DungDoan Thi Hong and Le Quy Loc. Some are members of the Hien Phap group, established on June 16, 2017, with the aim to promote peoples' understanding of their human rights under the 2013 Constitution. 

September 2019:

On September 4, 2019, Doan Kim Khanh, sister of Doan Thi Hong, posted on Facebook about the health of her sister. According to her post, Hong is very weak and needs medical care. She is suffering from several medical issues, including digestive disorders and vestibular problems. Hong, a single mother, was able to meet with her toddler daughter for the first time since her arrest. 

It has been a year since the public security of Ho Chi Minh City arrested Hong for "disrupting security" for calling for public protest. We have analyzed procedural irregularities in this detention, most notably the unlawfulness of her detention as a mother of a child under 36 months old, and call for her immediate release. 


September 2019:

Amnesty International issed an Urgent Action calling for the release of Doan Thi Hong. She has been detained for over a year without trial, and when her family was finally able to visit her on September 4, 2019, they reported that her health had notably declined.

Profile last updated: 2020-03-19 03:59:46

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