Nguyen Hoai Nam

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Nguyen Hoai Nam

Other Names: Nguyễn Hoài Nam

Date of Birth: 1973

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Journalist

Last Known Prison: Chi Hoa prison, Ho Chi Minh city

Areas of Activism:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Press

Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:

  • Prolonged Incommunicado Detention

A court of appeals in Ho Chi Minh City reduced the sentence for former journalist Nguyen Hoai Nam from three and a half years to two. Nam’s work uncovering corruption within the Vietnam Inland Waterways Administration eventually led to his arrest and conviction. It is almost unheard of for a political prisoner to have his or her sentence reduced by the Court of Appeals in Vietnam. In Nam’s case, the reasons given were that he had a “change in attitude,” “recognized his wrongdoings,” and because his family “contributed to the revolution.”

Details - Background, History of Activism.

Nam is a journalist who currently lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City. He recently resigned from his new post at the newspaper Phap Luat, Ho Chi Minh City.

Profile photo source

Nguyen Hoai Nam is a famous investigative journalist with achievements recognized by both the regime (to a certain extent) and activists in Vietnam. From reporting on food safety to corruption, Nam was one of the biggest names of Thanh Nien newspaper back in the 2010s.

Nam was honored several times by the state with certificates of merit from even the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption and other journalism prizes. 

However, in 2015, Nam was forced to leave Thanh Nien and from then on he worked primarily as a contributor to many newspapers. Nam insists that the newspaper fired him because of his anti-corruption articles, while Thanh Nien accused him of not meeting the monthly quota.

His case is particularly interesting in understanding how the government draws the line between their promises to fight corruption and the nature of the actual system.

Arrested April 2, 2021. Sentenced to 2 years in prison under Art. 331 (2015 Code). Expected Release is October 2, 2024.

April 2, 2021
  • Art. 331 (2015 Code)
Ho Chi Minh city public security, Ho Chi Minh city
Ho Chi Minh City (map)
April 5, 2022
The People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City
2 years in prison
October 2, 2024
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • fair trial
  • Committee to Protect Journalists
  • Reporters Without Borders

On the evening of April 2, public security officers in Ho Chi Minh City arrested Nguyen Hoai Nam. He will be subjected to three months of pre-trial detention to investigate allegations against him concerning defamation and libel as stipulated in Article 331 of the 2015 the Criminal Code (“abusing democratic freedoms”).

According to several sources, Nam was arrested after he posted on Facebook a series exposing corruption and management errors at the Vietnam Inland Waterways Administration. He also singled out several individuals in the Ministry of Public Security for improper conduct. 

At the end of February 2021, Nam was summoned by the Investigating Agency of Ho Chi Minh City Public Security for questioning.

Nguyen Hoai Nam was sentenced on April 5 by the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City to three and a half years in prison for “abusing democratic freedoms” based on Article 331. 

CPJ requested the immediate release of Nguyen Hoai Nam.

After his trial in April 2022, they again called for his immediate release from prison. RSF also called for his unconditional release. 

Profile last updated: 2022-08-08 19:33:38

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