Nguyen Thi Ngoc Suong

Current Status: Released - at risk

Photo of Nguyen Thi Ngoc Suong

Other Names: Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Sương

Date of Birth: 1968

Gender: F

Ethnicity: Kinh

Areas of Activism:

  • Freedom of expression
  • Sovereignty

Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:

  • Former Political Prisoner
  • Denial of Legal Representation
  • Denial of Adequate Medical Treatment or Supplies

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Suong, a former prisoner who was released early in December last year, said she has been harassed by police. Suong attended the appeal trials of Nguyen Thai Hung and Vu Thi Kim Hoang in March but was told to leave the courtroom. The police later went to her home and allegedly warned her not to attend any more trials in the future, and that they would be visiting her “every other day.” Suong was serving a five-year sentence for spreading “anti-state propaganda” before she was released 10 months early due to multiple health issues, some of which she said could be attributed to forced labor at Dong Nai B5 Prison’s temporary detention center, where she was held while under investigation. Speaking to RFA, Suong said her health has not improved since her release.

Details - Background, Family Situation.

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Suong lived in Dinh Quan District, Dong Nai province prior to arrest.

Profile photo source (L, with co-defendant Vu Thi Dung, R): Tuoi Tre Newspaper

July 2020:

Ngyen Thi Ngoc Suong's husband recently passed away from a traffic accident. Their child is in 4th grade and now has to stay with a relative. This incident highlights the harsh toll that imprisonment takes on not only prisoners, but also their families. 

Arrested October 13, 2018. Sentenced to 5 years in prison under Art. 117 (2015 Code). Released December 13, 2022.

October 13, 2018
  • Art. 117 (2015 Code)
Dong Nai province public security, Dong Nai province
Dinh Quan Town, Dinh Quan District, Dong Nai Province (map)
May 10, 2019
The People’s Court of Dong Nai Province
5 years in prison
October 13, 2023
December 13, 2022
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • freedom of peaceful assembly
  • fair trial
EU Delegation to Vietnam

On May 10, 2019, the People’s Court of Dong Nai province held the first instance trial against Vu Thi Dung and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Suong, and sentenced them to six and five years in prison, respectively. They were accused of “making, storing, spreading information, materials, items for the purpose of opposing the State of Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” under Article 117 of the 2015 Penal Code.

According to the indictment, Dung and Suong used many Facebook accounts, namely “Benny Truong” or “Tan Thai”, to read and listen to videos with “anti-state” content between August and October, 2018. On October 13, 2018, they allegedly incited a demonstration against China and the bills on Special Economics Zones and Cybersecurity. In addition, Dung allegedly created leaflets with anti-state content, and asked Suong to join her in distributing 117 leaflets in the area of Dinh Quan Town, Dinh Quan District. Both were arrested at that time.

However, according to activist Tran Thu Nguyet, one of these women’s families told her that on that day that she (one of two women) was arrested when selling bread in the market. The security forces brought her back to her house to search it and to check her phone. Although Nguyet recommended some lawyers to the families, the two women were tried without defense counsels. And their families, after sharing the information with Nguyet at the beginning, have since then stayed silent, most likely under pressure from the authorities.

In another status, activist Tran Thu Nguyet also revealed that the court had assigned them another lawyer, named Dung. This man came to meet them and gave each woman 500.000 VND (approximately), as well as told them to follow his instruction. However, this assigned lawyer did not help Dung and Suong as he promised.

September 2019:

On September 23, 2019, the People’s Supreme Court of Ho Chi Minh City upheld the sentences of Vu Thi Dung and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Suong in an appeal trial. In May, the People’s Court of Dong Nai province held the first instance trial against the two and sentenced them to six and five years in prison, respectively, for their Facebook posts with content critical of the state, calling on others to participate in protests, and distributing leaflets. They were convicted of “making, storing, spreading information, materials, items for the purpose of opposing the State of Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” under Article 117 of the 2015 Penal Code. They had three lawyers at the appeal trial: Trinh Vinh Phuc, Nguyen Van Mieng, and Dang Dinh Manh.

March 2021:

We received news that female activist Nguyen Thi Ngoc Suong is seriously ill. She has requested medical treatment, but her requests have been ignored. We are awaiting further updates and urge the Vietnamese government to immediately and unconditionally release Suong. 

On May 17, 2019, the EU Delegation to Vietnam called on Vietnam’s authorities to release Vu Thi Dung and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Suong immediately and unconditionally.

Profile last updated: 2023-11-09 18:26:30

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