Profile

Phan Cong Hai

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Phan Cong Hai

Other Names: Phan Công Hải

Date of Birth: June 5, 1996

Gender: M

Religion: Christian

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Blogger

Last Known Prison: An Diem prison, Dai Loc district, Quang Nam province

Areas of Activism:

  • Democracy
  • Human rights
  • Sovereignty

Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:

  • Denial of Legal Representation
  • Harsh Physical and Administrative Conditions
  • Infliction of Physical and Psychological Pain
  • Online commentator

October 2023:

Trinh Ba Phuong and two other political prisoners–Phan Cong Hai and Truong Van Dung–had their legs shackled for 10 days, from Sept. 9 to Sept. 19, at An Diem Prison for writing anti-China messages on A24 pieces of paper to protest, according to Phuong’s wife, Thu Do, who visited him on Oct 12. 

April 2020:

Online commentator Phan Cong Hai was sentenced to five years in prison in Nghe An Province. He did not have legal representation at trial, and the trial lasted only two hours. 

Details

Immediate Concerns

October 2023:

Trinh Ba Phuong and two other political prisoners–Phan Cong Hai and Truong Van Dung–had their legs shackled for 10 days, from Sept. 9 to Sept. 19, at An Diem Prison for writing anti-China messages on A24 pieces of paper to protest, according to Phuong’s wife, Thu Do, who visited him on Oct 12. 

April 2020:

Online commentator Phan Cong Hai was sentenced to five years in prison in Nghe An Province. He did not have legal representation at trial, and the trial lasted only two hours. 

Background

Phan Cong Hai was born in 1996 in Nghi Loc District, Nghe An Province.

History of Activism

On his personal Facebook page, Phan Cong Hai has written many posts to express his concerns about the Vietnamese regime. The posts denounce human rights violations, poor economic management, and environmental pollution occuring in Vietnam.

May 31, 2019: wanted under the charge of Article 117 of the 2015 Criminal Code

Wanted by authorities
May 31, 2019
Public security
Nghi Loc district, Nghe An province (map)

  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression

On May 31, 2019, Nghe An province public security issued a wanted decision against Phan Cong Hai, 23 at the time, who resided in Nghi Loc district, Nghe An province. He was wanted under the charge of Article 117 of the 2015 Criminal Code for “making, storing, spreading information, materials, items for the purpose of opposing the State of Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Sentenced to 5 years in prison under Art. 117 (2015 Code). Expected Release is November 19, 2024.

November 19, 2019
  • Art. 117 (2015 Code)
Ha Tinh province public security, Ha Tinh province
Ha Tinh province (map)
April 28, 2020
The People's Court of Nghe An province, Nghe An province
None
5 years in prison
November 19, 2024
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • fair trial
Details of Imprisonment

On November 19, 2019, young activist Phan Cong Hai was arrested in Ha Tinh province, after being wanted for six months by Nghe An provincial authorities for “producing, storing and disseminating information to oppose the people’s regime” (Article 117, 2015 Criminal Code). The official “criminal conduct” for which he was wanted, according to the state’s media, was “defaming the image of President Ho Chi Minh.” The authorities also mentioned that Hai’s Facebook posts contained reactionary elements, intentionally libeling and distorting historical facts, questioning the leadership role of the Communist Party in Vietnam, and affecting national security.

Hai's arrest was unknown to the public until an ultra-communist Facebook group called “Trung Đoàn 47” published a video of Ha Tinh public security interrogating him. No official state-owned media had reported about his arrest yet. His family has confirmed the arrest with The 88 Project. 

The arrest surprised people who know Hai. He was seeking refuge in Thailand for a while, but somehow the news emerged about his arrest in Vietnam. His family shared with The 88 Project that his mother was going to have surgery soon, and that was likely the reason for his return to Vietnam. It is also possible that the authorities used or will use his mother’s health situation to coerce him into confession. 

April 2020:

Phan Cong Hai was sentenced to five years in prison in Nghe An Province. He did not have legal representation at trial, and the trial lasted only two hours. 

Resources

Fugitive-for-Freedom-of-Expression Arrested by Public Security of Ha Tinh Province, The 88 Project, November 22, 2019

Vietnam jails man for Facebook posts 'defaming' the regime, The Straits Times, April 28, 2020

Profile last updated: 2024-06-13 20:34:05

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