Truong Thi Ha

Current Status: At risk

Photo of Truong Thi Ha

Other Names: Trương Thị Hà

Date of Birth:

Gender: F

Religion: Not specified

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Student

Areas of Activism:

  • Digital rights
  • Democracy
  • Freedom of expression
  • Human rights
  • Sovereignty

April 2020:

Truong Thi Ha returned to Vietnam via the Laos border in late March and was immediately put in quarantine. She posted that upon her return to Vietnam, her important papers and money were confiscated. She was held in in Dong Hoi’s quarantine area for 14 days. It is unclear why Ha returned to Vietnam. After completing her mandatory quarantine period, she was released. Ha reportedly bought a new cell phone, but the police confiscated it, and her Facebook accounts are under the control of the police. Thus, Ha’s posts about this on her Facebook account are currently inaccessible (here is a repost of one of Ha’s posts on Nguyen Van Hai’s Facebook about her return to Vietnam).

Two international associations of lawyers have condemned the actions against Ha; read the full press release here. The Hon. Michael Kirby, Co-Chair of The International Bar Association's Institute of Human Rights Institute, said of the incident: "The IBAHRI understands and commends the precautions taken by the Vietnamese authorities to prevent the spread of Covid-19. However, preventing Trương Thị Hà; from communicating with anybody outside of the quarantine unit is an abuse of power and violation of a basic human right."

Details - Background, History of Activism, Contact Information.

Ha comes from Ha Noi and currently lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City (Sai Gon).

Ha is completing her Attorney certification course at The Justice Academy of Ho Chi Minh City. She is also pursuing her second degree in English Linguistics at Ho Chi Minh University of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Ha is known for her active participation in the 2018 series of demonstrations against two draft bills: the Law on Cybersecurity and Law on Special Economics Zones. Ha is also an outspoken supporter of the democratization movement in Vietnam.

Ha is also known as an active law student who often participated in organizing and guiding other law students to field trips to courts in Hanoi. On April  2016, she represented 44 law students from Hanoi Law School to send a petition to the Chief Justice of Hanoi Court to request that the Court “puts an end to the obstruction of the participation of citizens to public trials.”

June 17, 2018: kidnapped, unlawfully detained, and assaulted for participating in a peaceful demonstration.

  • Harassment against family of activist at risk
  • Forced eviction
  • Harassment at private residence
  • Maltreatment in police custody
  • Intimidation
  • Physical assault in a public space
  • Abduction
June 17-18, 2018
Public security
Park near Notre Dame Cathedral (map)

  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • humane treatment in detention
  • freedom of expression
  • freedom of peaceful assembly
  • not be subjected to torture and degrading treatment
  • equal protection of the law
  • freedom of movement
  • respect of privacy, family, home, and correspondence
  • political participation
  • freedom from discrimination
  • Human Rights Watch
  • Boat People SOS
  • Vietnamese Women for Human Rights
  • Association of Bau Bi Tuong Than
  • Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam
  • Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience

Ha was participating in a peaceful protest on June 17, 2018 against the draft Laws on Cybersecurity and Special Economic Zones when she was kidnapped by 10 plainclothes police officers. 

She was forced to get in a car and transferred to a temporary detention center where she was unlawfully held, insulted, abused, and faced risk of imminent sexual assault. Her family was also called and warned about her participation in the protest.

All her belongings were also taken, and she was unable to contact her family or friends or leave the detention center until the next day. 

After the arrest, Ha went home only to be kicked out of her apartment by the landlord, a usual tactic of local public security.  

[See more details at: Truong Thi Ha’s Testimony About Police’s Use of Torture Against Her and Fellow Activists on June 17, 2018; The 88 Project, June 12 2019]

Read the joint submission to United Nations Committee Against Torture for the Examination of the First State Report, criticizing the application of torture and inhumane treatments during the protest crackdowns (October 2018).

There was also an official call for investigating the use of excessive force by public security forces.

Profile last updated: 2020-05-03 21:47:35

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