Nguyen Nang Tinh

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Nguyen Nang Tinh

Other Names: Nguyễn Năng Tĩnh

Date of Birth: 1976

Gender: M

Religion: Christian (Catholic)

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Teaching professional

Areas of Activism:

  • Freedom of expression
  • Sovereignty
  • Religious freedom

Known Affiliations:

  • Bao Ve Su Song (Save Life)
  • Quy Phat Trien Con Nguoi (Human Development Fund)
  • Truyen Thong Cong Giao (Catholic Media)
  • No-U Saigon

April 2020:

On April 20, The People’s Court of Nghe An Province denied Nguyen Nang Tinh‘s appeal of his 11-year sentence. While Tinh did admit to making Facebook posts, his lawyer argued that they were within his internationally-recognized right to freedom of expression. It is reported that Tinh was on a hunger strike from March 13-April 17 and will now resume his strike (Defend the Defenders reports he was on a hunger strike from March 3-April 17). At his first instance trial, he said: “10 years, 20 years… No matter how harsh the sentence will be, I will never change my opinions.” Tinh’s appeal trial came on the heels of the arrests of two women last week, also for their online posts. You can sign a petition to support Tinh’s release here.

Details - Background, History of Activism, Family Situation.

Tinh is a music teacher at the Nghe An College of Art and Culture, living in Nghe An province.

Profile photo source: Nghe Anh Times

Nguyen Nang Tinh is an activist and member of “NoU FC Vinh,” “Bao ve su song (Save Life),” “Quy Phat Trien Con Nguoi (Human Development Fund),” and “Truyen Thong Cong Giao (Catholic Media),” which the authorities consider to be “opposition groups.” As a music teacher, he sang many songs with content allegedly “distorting the policy and guidance of state and party.”

September 2020:

Nguyen Thi Tinh, Tinh's wife, received her third summons by the Internal Political Security Bureau of Dong Thap Province to discuss her recent Facebook posts, which are alleged to have violated Decree 15. She is raising her two sons alone while her husband serves an 11-year sentence for exercising his freedom of speech. Working as a teacher 2000 km away from home, Tinh had been using Facebook simply to share her situation and her struggles with others, she said.

Arrested May 29, 2019. Sentenced to 11 years in prison under Art. 117 (2015 Code). Expected Release is May 29, 2030.

May 29, 2019
  • Art. 117 (2015 Code)
Nghe An province public security, Nghe An province
Quynh Luu district, Nghe An province (map)
November 15, 2019
The People's Court of Nghe An province, Nghe An province
  • Trinh Vinh Phuc
  • Nguyen Van Mieng
11 years in prison
May 29, 2030
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • fair trial

Authorities arrested Nguyen Nang Tinh, 43, on May 29, 2019,  when having breakfast with his sons. Security forces searched his residence, confiscated documents, and then brought Tinh and his sons to the commune people’s committee. A few hours later, they called Tinh’s father to come bring Tinh’s sons back home. He was alleged to post “anti-state” content online.

September 2019:

After three months of detention, the investigation police of Nghe An province completed the investigation period of Nguyen Nang Tinh on September 17, 2019. He was charged under Article 117 of the 2015 Criminal Code (“making, storing, spreading information, materials, items for the purpose of opposing the State of Socialist Republic of Vietnam”). His case was sent to the People's Procuracy for prosecution. 

October 2019:

On October 11, 2019, the People’s Court of Nghe An province prohibited Nguyen Nang Tinh's attorneys from copying his case files, even though six days later Tinh was to be tried for “making, storing and distributing documents that are anti-state and the government of Vietnam." In his Facebook post, lawyer Nguyen Van Mieng, one of the two defense lawyers, wrote that the court didn’t allow him to copy Tinh’s files because they were related to national security and, therefore, confidential. On the same day, the two lawyers submitted a request to postpone the trial until the files can be copied. However, according to the lawyers and Tinh’s family, the People’s Court of Nghe An warned that the next trial will be conducted with or without the lawyers. 

November 2019:

On November 15, music teacher Nguyen Nang Tinh was sentenced to 11 years in prison for his Facebook posts with alleged “anti-state” content, continuing a troubling crackdown on social media users. A video of him teaching students the famous song “Give back to the people” attracted a lot of attention and the support of Vietnamese people both inside and outside of Vietnam. While Tinh never calls for violence, the authorities said that his case is “exceptional” and “dangerous." Many of his friends were forced to leave when they tried to attend the trial. Father Nguyen Cong Huong, the local priest in the church that Tinh used to attend, also wanted to witness the trial, but his request was denied. In a Facebook post, Trinh Vinh Phuc, Tinh’s defense lawyer, reported that Tinh was very calm and determined at trial, stating: “10 years, 20 years… No matter how harsh the sentence will be, I will never change my opinions." 


December 2019:

Nguyen Nang Tinh appealed his 11-year prison sentence. The Supreme People’s Court sent verification of the appeal proceedings to his lawyer, Dang Dinh Manh.

March 2020:

Nguyen Nang Tinh was set to appeal his 11-year prison sentence on March 18, 2020 in the People’s Court of Nghe An, but the Court postponed that trial. No official reason was given. 

He reportedly has kidney stones.

November 2019:

Human Rights Watch released a statement calling for Nguyen Nang Tinh’s release from prison. 

Profile last updated: 2020-09-13 14:03:38

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