Pham Trung Hieu

Current Status: At risk

No image

Other Names: Phạm Trung Hiếu

Date of Birth:

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Areas of Activism:

  • Land rights

Communities At Risk:



Pham Trung Hieu is a resident of Loc Hung vegetable garden, a six-hectare area that belongs to the Catholic Church of Vietnam in Ward 6, District Tan Binh, Ho Chi Minh City. That area has been in dispute between the local government and the households for nearly twenty years. The authorities prevented the Loc Hung residents from legalizing their land use right even though the residents have valid documents to support their claim. The negotiation ended with the first forced eviction on January 4, 2019, destroying around 10 houses from a powerful force, including police, civil defense forces, and volunteer youth, with equipment such as bulldozers and firetrucks. After the second day of land-grabbing on January 8, 2019, all 112 houses were totally destroyed. 

Read more on the land-grabbing at Loc Hung vegetable garden, here.

December 8, 2019: detained for protesting against officials’ destruction of Nativity scene

December 8, 2019
Public security
Loc Hung vegetable garden, Ward 6, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City (map)

  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of belief and religion

On the morning of Sunday, December 8, 2019, a group of local public security officers arrived at the area of the Loc Hung vegetable garden and became involved in a hostile confrontation with local residents of Loc Hung, which is a Catholic residential neighborhood situated in the middle of Ho Chi Minh city. The authorities’ intention was to prevent, or apparently, to destroy the construction of a small cave that displays the nativity of Jesus Christ, a common Christian custom. After high-profile forced evictions in early 2019 left hundreds of Loc Hung residents– many of them political activists– homeless with neither compensation for the lost land nor the benefit of a resettlement program, the representation of the nativity of Jesus Christ at the destroyed area was just a symbol for hope and optimism in the community when Christmas was just around the corner. 

The confrontation quickly turned violent. The authorities forcefully took scaffolds, destroyed the wooden structure, and injured many residents. The conflict ended around 4:00 pm on the same day, but three residents– Cao Thi Thu, Pham Trung Hieu, and Pham Duy Quang– were arrested and detained for over six hours by the public security of Ward 6, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City. 

Worried for their safety and well-being, many residents gathered and marched to the office of the public security of Ward 6 to request the three’s release. Thanks to the public pressure, Ms. Thu, Mr. Hieu, and Mr. Quang were all freed later that evening.

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

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