Nguyen Thanh Nha

Current Status: Released - at risk

Photo of Nguyen Thanh Nha

Other Names: Nguyễn Thanh Nhã

Date of Birth: 1980

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Journalist

Areas of Activism:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Environment
  • Press

Known Affiliations:

Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:

  • Former Political Prisoner

January 2022:

An appellate court in Can Tho Province upheld the sentences against members of the Bao Sach (Clean News) group for violating Article 331—”abusing democratic freedoms.”

October 2021:

Five journalists from the Facebook group Bao Sach (Clean Newspaper) were sentenced to years in prison after a short two-day trial. They were accused of “abusing democratic freedoms” according to Article 331; their most controversial topic centered on the highly suspect death sentence of accused murderer Ho Duy Hai, who has always maintained his innocence. The defendants and their sentences are: Truong Chau Huu Danh (39), 4.5 years; Le The Thang (39), 3 years; Doan Kien Giang (36), 3 years; Nguyen Phuoc Trung Bao (39), 2 years; Nguyen Thanh Nha (41), 2 years.

Details - Background, History of Activism.

Nha lives and works in Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City.

Picture: Nguyen Thanh Nha when arrested. Source

Nha was a journalist based in Ho Chi Minh City for a long time before he joined Bao Sach as a founding member. Bao Sach was involved in a variety of news topics and investigative work, including anti-corruption and the environment. 

It should also be noted that despite its intensive activities and noticeable presence on social media, where it has a massive following, Bao Sach is still considered illegal under Vietnamese law since media in Vietnam must meet strict application procedures and must be sponsored by a Party agency in order to establish a news outlet.

Arrested April 20, 2021. Sentenced to 2 years in prison under Art. 331 (2015 Code). Released April 20, 2023.

April 20, 2021
  • Art. 331 (2015 Code)
Can Tho public security, Can Tho City
His house in Thu Duc City (map)
October 28, 2021
2 years in prison
April 20, 2023
April 20, 2023
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • fair trial
US government

In December 2020, Truong Chau Huu Danh was the first member of Bao Sach to be arrested, signaling the coming risks of arrest and harassment for the team members. The Bao Sach fan page disappeared, and other members also deactivated their Facebook accounts. On April 20, 2021, other remaining members were arrested, with the exception of journalist Le The Thang, who worked mainly as a photographer for Bao Sach. 

Nha was arrested and his house was searched by the Public Security of Can Tho Province. 

The reasons for the arrest were not revealed by the police.  In May 2021, several newspapers mentioned that Bao Sach had been involved in defaming the Can Tho provincial leadership, distorting their economic policies and law enforcement practices.

However, the only active case that Bao Sach followed under the jurisdiction of Can Tho Province authorities is the case of the Can Tho Development Investment Fund (CADIF), a fund under the auspices of the People’s Committee of Can Tho City. But it is uncertain as to whether this led to the arrest of these journalists, as most state-owned media outlets have reported about this CADIF’s wrongdoings in land development.

August 2021:

Can Tho provincial police finished their investigation of four members of the group Clean News and have charged them with “abusing democratic freedoms which violate the interests of the state.” The men are: Truong Chau Huu Danh, 39, Nguyen Phuoc Trung Bao, 39, Doan Kien Giang, 36, and Nguyen Thanh Nha, 41. Additionally, before the investigation was completed a fifth man from Hanoi also was similarly charged, but was only placed under house arrest: Le The Thang,39. A trial date has not been set.

October 2021:

The US State Department released a statement raising concern about the conviction of the five members of the Clean News group. “We understand this group of journalists focused on investigative reporting on corruption, which, of course, is not a crime. … Press freedom is fundamental to transparency and accountable governance.  Authors, bloggers, and journalists often do their work at great risk, and we urge the Vietnamese government and other governments and citizens worldwide to ensure their protection.”

Profile last updated: 2023-10-04 22:32:29

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