Do The Hoa

Current Status: Released - at risk

Photo of Do The Hoa

Other Names: Bang Lĩnh, Đỗ Thế Hóa

Date of Birth:

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Last Known Prison: An Phuoc detention center, Binh Duong province

Areas of Activism:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Environment
  • Freedom of expression
  • Human rights
  • Sovereignty

Known Affiliations:

Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:

  • Former Political Prisoner
  • Denial of Adequate Medical Treatment or Supplies
  • Prolonged Incommunicado Detention
  • Denial of Family Visit/Punitive Prison Transfer

February 2023:

Do The Hoa, a member of the Hien Phap “Constitution Group,” who was arrested in 2018 and sentenced to five years in prison on “public disturbance” charges, was released seven months early ostensibly for “good behavior,” but only after he had become nearly totally blind due to an alleged lack of timely healthcare. Hoa told RFA: “I started to suffer from the pain [caused by sore eyes] in October 2020 but could not see a doctor or get medicine to reduce my intraocular pressure until December, and my surgery did not take place until March 2021.” By that time it was too late for doctors to do anything to reverse his condition. “The vision in my eye with glaucoma has decreased to only 20%,” he said, “making me only able to differentiate between light and dark … but unable to recognize human faces, while my other eye cannot see anything at all.”

Details - Background, History of Activism, Contact Information.

Hoa lived in District 12, Ho Chi Minh City prior to arrest. 

Profile photo source: Facebook Bang Lĩnh

Hoa was said to participate in the national demonstrations against the bills of law on Special Economic Zones and Cybersecurity on June 10, 2018.

He is also a member of Hien Phap (Constitution) group, established on June 16, 2017, with the aim to promote peoples’ understanding of their human rights in the Constitution. 

Hoa and other members planned to call for a peaceful demonstration on September 4, 2018 to raise their voices on social issues, including human rights violations, corruption, territorial disputes, and environmental pollution. However, many Hien Phap members, including Hoa, were arrested prior to the scheduled demonstration.

Facebook Bang Lĩnh

Arrested September 1, 2018. Sentenced to 5 years in prison and 2 years probation under Art. 118 (2015 Code). Released February 9, 2023.

September 1, 2018
  • Art. 118 (2015 Code)
Ho Chi Minh city public security, Ho Chi Minh city
Ho Chi Minh City (map)
July 31, 2020
The People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City
5 years in prison and 2 years probation
September 1, 2023
February 9, 2023
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • freedom of peaceful assembly
  • freedom of association
  • fair trial
  • political participation
US government

Hoa was arrested on September 1, three days prior to the scheduled demonstration of the Hien Phap group, and he was detained at police station, no. 4. Phan Dang Luu Street, Binh Thanh Ward, Ho Chi Minh city. 

Eleven months after his arrest, Hoa was finally allowed to meet his family on August 2, 2019, for around 20 minutes. Due to being detained incommunicado, with inadequate light, Hoa looked pale and seemed to be suffering from swelling.

February 2020:

Eight activists were scheduled to face trial by the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City on March 10 on charges of "disrupting security" under Article 118 of the 2015 Criminal Code. The eight had been detained without trial for almost a year and a half. Authorities have previously postponed the trial twice. The group of eight defendants includes Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hanh, Hoang Thi Thu VangDo The HoaHo Dinh CuongTran Thanh PhuongNgo Van DungDoan Thi Hong and Le Quy Loc

July 2020:

After several postponements, on July 31, the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City sentenced eight defendants, some of whom are members of the Hien Phap constitutional rights group, to prison sentences ranging from two and a half years to-eight years on charges of “disrupting security.” The sentences were as follows:

  • Ngo Van Dung: five years in prison and two years of probation
  • Hoang Thi Thu Vang: seven years in prison and three years of probation
  • Do The Hoa: five years in prison and two years of probation
  • Ho Dinh Cuong: four and a half  years in prison and two years of probation
  • Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hanh: eight years in prison and three years of probation
  • Tran Thanh Phuong: three and a half years in prison and two years of probation
  • Le Quy Loc: five years in prison and three years of probation
  • Doan Thi Hong: two and a half years in prison and two years of probation

Family members and supporters were not allowed to attend the trial, and neither were US government representatives. One representative of the German Embassy was allowed to attend.

November 2020:

Four members of the Hien Phap (Constitution) group were transferred to An Phuoc Prison in Binh Duong on November 23. They are: Do The Hoa, Tran Thanh PhuongHoang Thi Thu Vang, and Doan Thi Hong. Phuong was able to call his wife on that day, and he reported that he was suffering from high blood pressure.

August 2020:

The US State Department released a statement condemning the imprisonment of Hien Phap group members, saying: “Although we have seen the Government of Vietnam take some positive steps on human rights in certain areas in Vietnam over the past few years, we are troubled about the growing trend of arrests of and harsh sentences for peaceful activists since early 2016.”

Profile last updated: 2023-10-04 22:37:35

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