Truong Chau Huu Danh

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Truong Chau Huu Danh

Other Names: Trương Châu Hữu Danh

Date of Birth:

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Journalist

Areas of Activism:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Freedom of expression
  • Press

Known Affiliations:

Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:

  • Prolonged Incommunicado Detention

January 2022:

An appellate court in Can Tho Province upheld the sentences against members of the Bao Sach (Clean News) group for violating Article 331—”abusing democratic freedoms.”

October 2021:

Five journalists from the Facebook group Bao Sach (Clean Newspaper) were sentenced to years in prison after a short two-day trial. They were accused of “abusing democratic freedoms” according to Article 331; their most controversial topic centered on the highly suspect death sentence of accused murderer Ho Duy Hai, who has always maintained his innocence. The defendants and their sentences are: Truong Chau Huu Danh (39), 4.5 years; Le The Thang (39), 3 years; Doan Kien Giang (36), 3 years; Nguyen Phuoc Trung Bao (39), 2 years; Nguyen Thanh Nha (41), 2 years.

Details - Background, History of Activism, Contact Information.

Truong Chau Huu Danh is a journalist at Nong Thon Ngay Nay Newspaper.

Profile photo source: Facebook Trương Châu Hữu Danh

Danh and other drivers in Ban Huu Duong Xa Group (Friends on Long Road) have protested against corrupted “BOTs” (Build-Operate-Transfers), which effectively charge drivers a toll for a private development project authorized by the state. On his Facebook Trương Châu Hữu Danh, followed by thousands of Facebookers, Danh often exposes many alleged corruption cases, with which many governmental officers and enterprises have involved. Therefore, Danh and his family have being harassed by individuals and the authorities.

January 14, 2019: detained illegally in an alley because of his protest against An Suong-An Lac BOT

  • Detention
  • Destruction of personal property
  • Administrative fines
  • Property confiscation
January 14-15, 2019
  • Public security
  • Collaborators
An Suong - An Lac Toll Plaza, High Way 1A, Binh Hung Hoa District, Binh Tan Ward, Ho Chi Minh City (map)

  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • freedom of peaceful assembly
  • political participation

At 2:00 pm on January 14, Truong Chau Huu Danh, Phuong Ngo, Huynh Long, and a woman went to An Suong - An Lac Toll Plaza to question authorities on the purpose of the toll station and what type of fees they have charged. An Suong - An Lac Toll Plaza is one of the BOTs being protested since 2018 because they collected fees beyond the contract duration, which ended in January 2017.

Right after that, hundreds of people, including public security officers, police in uniform, and individuals wearing masks, raided their three cars and towed them into a dead-end alley, which was 50 meters away from the BOT. All of them were isolated in cars by barriers, cars, and a powerful security force without receiving food from the outside during their detention.

When leaving the car to find a restroom at around 9:00 pm, Huynh Long was suddenly arrested by unidentified individuals, who threatened him to stop his activism against BOT An Suong - An Lac. The aggressors drove him on their motorcycles around the town before taking his belongings and leaving him in District 12 the next morning. Scared from his disappearance, Truong Chau Huu Danh, Phuong Ngo, and the others stayed inside the car until the next day and kept live-streaming their incident on Facebook page of Trương Châu Hữu Danh.

On January 15, the security force of Binh Tan District came in the morning and worked with them until the afternoon. On that morning, Huynh Buu Long managed to return to the scene. Finally, authorities imposed administrative fines on the drivers for “stopping the cars illegally, causing traffic jam”. Meanwhile, security forces ignored the drivers’ report on their incident and their demand to investigate their arbitrary detention as well as the damage to the cars from the towing process. After more than 24 hours, they were finally able to leave the alley in the late afternoon.

Arrested December 17, 2020. Sentenced to 4 years 6 months in prison under Art. 331 (2015 Code). Expected Release is June 17, 2025.

December 17, 2020
  • Art. 331 (2015 Code)
Can Tho public security, Can Tho City
Can Tho (map)
October 28, 2021
4 years 6 months in prison
June 17, 2025
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • fair trial
  • political participation
  • Committee to Protect Journalists
  • US government

December 2020:

Journalist Truong Chau Huu Danh was arrested in Can Tho Province on December 16 and charged with “abusing democratic freedoms” under Article 331 of the 2015 Criminal Code. The 38-year-old has worked for several state-run newspapers. In recent years, he became better known for supporting the BOT tollbooth anti-corruption protests and for Facebook posts about the violent police raid in Dong Tam Commune and other social unrest. Colleagues describe him as an even-keeled, objective reporter and expressed surprise at his arrest.

Danh is involved with Bao Sach (Clean Newspaper), a Facebook news account, which often post on anti-corruption issues. 

The Can Tho Police Investigation Agency searched his home prior to arrest. Though he was arrested by Can Tho public security, he was transfered after arrest to his home province of Long An. 

May 2021: 

Four members of Clean News have been charged with “abusing democratic freedoms” under Article 331 of the Criminal Code. The four men are: Truong Chau Huu Danh (pictured above), Nguyen Phuoc Trung Bao, Doan Kien Giang, and Nguyen Thanh Nha. Investigators allege that dozens of their Facebook postings and Youtube videos about official corruption and land rights victims violated the new Cybersecurity Law. If convicted, each man could face from two to seven years in prison.

August 2021:

Can Tho provincial police finished their investigation of four members of the group Clean News and charged them with “abusing democratic freedoms which violate the interests of the state.” The men are: Truong Chau Huu Danh, 39, Nguyen Phuoc Trung Bao, 39, Doan Kien Giang, 36, and Nguyen Thanh Nha, 41. Additionally, before the investigation was completed a fifth man from Hanoi also was similarly charged, but was only placed under house arrest: Le The Thang,39. A trial date has not been set.

The Committee to Protect Journalists released a statement shortly after his arrest calling for his immediate release. 

October 2021:

The US State Department released a statement raising concern about the conviction of the five members of the Clean News group. “We understand this group of journalists focused on investigative reporting on corruption, which, of course, is not a crime. … Press freedom is fundamental to transparency and accountable governance.  Authors, bloggers, and journalists often do their work at great risk, and we urge the Vietnamese government and other governments and citizens worldwide to ensure their protection.”

Profile last updated: 2022-02-01 03:52:21

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