Profile

Nguyen Van Nghiem

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Nguyen Van Nghiem

Other Names: Nguyễn Văn Nghiêm, Nghiêm Nguyễn, Giáo sư hớt tóc (Facebook nickname)

Date of Birth: October 25, 1963

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Service industry

Areas of Activism:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Environment
  • Human rights
  • Sovereignty

Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:

  • Denial of Legal Representation
  • Online commentator

On June 23, the People’s Court of Hoa Binh Province tried hairdresser and online commentator Nguyen Van Nghiem on the charge of Article 117 of the 2015 Criminal Code and sentenced him to six years in prison. Only his wife was allowed to attend the trial. There are concerns that Nghien was pressured to deny legal representation, as he appeared in court without a lawyer even though he had previously asked for one.

Details

Immediate Concerns

On June 23, the People’s Court of Hoa Binh Province tried hairdresser and online commentator Nguyen Van Nghiem on the charge of Article 117 of the 2015 Criminal Code and sentenced him to six years in prison. Only his wife was allowed to attend the trial. There are concerns that Nghien was pressured to deny legal representation, as he appeared in court without a lawyer even though he had previously asked for one.

Background

Nghiem is from Y Yen District, Nam Dinh Province. He lived in Hoa Binh province prior to arrest.

Profile photo source: Facebook Nghiêm Nguyễn

History of Activism

Nghiem is known as an active Facebooker with the nickname of “Giao su hot toc,” and he usually shares his views on national issues, such as corruption, environmental pollution, human rights violations, and China’s alleged illegal activities in the East Sea (South China Sea). Besides posting about the government’s failure to deal with those issues, Nghiem also has criticized many senior state officials such as the party’s General Secretary-- President Nguyen Phu Trong-- as well as Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. 

He also posts many videos on his Youtube channel and has attracted many views. One day before the arrest, he released three videos on the issues of China’s alleged aggression in Vanguard Bank, a special economic zone of Vietnam, and the ongoing anti-corruption campaign. All videos were deleted from his Facebook and Youtube after his arrest.

Sentenced to 6 years in prison under Art. 117 (2015 Code). Expected Release is November 5, 2025.

  • Art. 117 (2015 Code)
Hoa Binh province public security, Hoa Binh province
Phuong Lam District, Hoa Binh City, Hoa Binh Province (map)
June 23, 2020
The People’s Court of Hoa Binh Province
Ha Huy Son
6 years in prison
November 5, 2025
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • fair trial
UN Special Rapporteurs
Details of Imprisonment

Nghiem was arrested on the morning of November 5, 2019, while live-streaming to talk about nationals issues at home in Hoa Binh Province. His wife, Pham Thi Xuan, revealed that one security officer in plain clothes waited for her in front of her house at 7:00 am. Xuan had just come home from the market. That woman made an effort to persuade Xuan to style her hair, but Xuan refused. 

March 2020:

The investigating agency extended the pre-trial detention period of Nguyen Van Nghiem for another three months.

However, taking advantage of Xuan’s entrance, a group of public security officers in uniforms stormed into the house and arrested Nghiem while searching his house. They confiscated his two computers, two printers, cameras, and cell phones. 

Nghiem was prosecuted for “making, storing, disseminating, or propagandizing information, materials, and products that aim to oppose the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” under Article 117 of the 2015 Criminal Code. He will be temporarily held for 120 days for investigation, according to an announcement of his arrest released on November 4, 2019, by the Investigation Agency of Hoa Binh Province.  

It is likely that his arrest is derived from his videos, posts, and sharing on Facebook. Currently, all the videos on his Youtube channel have been deleted. His Facebook and Youtube accounts were said to be under the control of public security.

Actions Taken

November 2021:

On November 1, 2021, the UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention sent the government of Vietnam its report on human rights defenders Chung Hoang ChuongNguyen Van NghiemLe Van DungDinh Thi Thu ThuyDo Nam Trung and Dinh Van Hai, requesting a response. On November 21, the government requested a two-month extension to February, 2022, to reply.

Resources

Vietnam Arrests Nguyen Van Nghiem for “Conducting Anti-state Propaganda” Allegation, 18th  Facebooker Detained for Online Activities So Far This Year, Defend the Defenders, November 5, 2019

Facebooker ‘Giáo sư hớt tóc' bị bắt vì phát livestream ‘gây hoang mang trong nhân dân', Radio Free Asia, November 6, 2019

Facebooker thứ 18 bị bắt vì chỉ trích chính phủ trên mạng xã hội, Saigon Broadcasting Television Network, November 6, 2019

Facebooker Nguyen Van Nghiem Sentenced to Six Years in Prison after Being Convicted of “Conducting Anti-state Propaganda”, Defend the Defenders, June 23, 2019

Vietnam Sentences ‘Dr. Haircut’ to Six Years for Live-streaming on Facebook, Radio Free Asia, June 23, 2019

Facebook Phạm Thị Xuân

Report from the UN Special Rapporteur, November 2021

June 23, 2020: trial

June 23, 2020
Phuong Lam District, Hoa Binh City, Hoa Binh Province (map)

  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • fair trial
UN Special Rapporteurs
Details of Imprisonment

Nghiem was arrested on the morning of November 5, 2019, while live-streaming to talk about nationals issues at home in Hoa Binh Province. His wife, Pham Thi Xuan, revealed that one security officer in plain clothes waited for her in front of her house at 7:00 am. Xuan had just come home from the market. That woman made an effort to persuade Xuan to style her hair, but Xuan refused. 

March 2020:

The investigating agency extended the pre-trial detention period of Nguyen Van Nghiem for another three months.

However, taking advantage of Xuan’s entrance, a group of public security officers in uniforms stormed into the house and arrested Nghiem while searching his house. They confiscated his two computers, two printers, cameras, and cell phones. 

Nghiem was prosecuted for “making, storing, disseminating, or propagandizing information, materials, and products that aim to oppose the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” under Article 117 of the 2015 Criminal Code. He will be temporarily held for 120 days for investigation, according to an announcement of his arrest released on November 4, 2019, by the Investigation Agency of Hoa Binh Province.  

It is likely that his arrest is derived from his videos, posts, and sharing on Facebook. Currently, all the videos on his Youtube channel have been deleted. His Facebook and Youtube accounts were said to be under the control of public security.

Actions Taken

November 2021:

On November 1, 2021, the UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention sent the government of Vietnam its report on human rights defenders Chung Hoang ChuongNguyen Van NghiemLe Van DungDinh Thi Thu ThuyDo Nam Trung and Dinh Van Hai, requesting a response. On November 21, the government requested a two-month extension to February, 2022, to reply.

Resources

Vietnam Arrests Nguyen Van Nghiem for “Conducting Anti-state Propaganda” Allegation, 18th  Facebooker Detained for Online Activities So Far This Year, Defend the Defenders, November 5, 2019

Facebooker ‘Giáo sư hớt tóc' bị bắt vì phát livestream ‘gây hoang mang trong nhân dân', Radio Free Asia, November 6, 2019

Facebooker thứ 18 bị bắt vì chỉ trích chính phủ trên mạng xã hội, Saigon Broadcasting Television Network, November 6, 2019

Facebooker Nguyen Van Nghiem Sentenced to Six Years in Prison after Being Convicted of “Conducting Anti-state Propaganda”, Defend the Defenders, June 23, 2019

Vietnam Sentences ‘Dr. Haircut’ to Six Years for Live-streaming on Facebook, Radio Free Asia, June 23, 2019

Facebook Phạm Thị Xuân

Report from the UN Special Rapporteur, November 2021

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

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter

© 2022 The 88 Project . The 88 Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the state of Illinois, United States.