Profile

Nguyen Phuoc Trung Bao

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Nguyen Phuoc Trung Bao

Other Names: Nguyễn Phước Trung Bảo

Date of Birth: 1982

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Journalist

Areas of Activism:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Environment
  • Press

Known Affiliations:

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.

Bao lives and works in Da Nang City.

Picture: Nguyen Phuoc Trung Bao. Source

Bao was a prominent journalist and usually considered a “KOL” (Key Opinion Leader) on Vietnamese social media platforms. He created Bao Sach along with other friends in 2019, with the media focused on a variety of topics and investigative work, including corruption and the environment.

It should also be noted that despite their intensive activities and noticeable presence on social media, where it had a massive following, Bao Sach was still considered illegal under Vietnamese law since media in Vietnam must complete a strict application procedure and must be sponsored by a Party-supervised agency to establish a news outlet.

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

April 20, 2021
  • Art. 331 (2015 Code)
Can Tho public security, Can Tho City
His house in Da Nang City (map)
October 28, 2021
2 years in prison
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. 

Bao was arrested and his house in Da Nang was searched by  Public Security officers  of Can Tho Province. The reasons for the arrest have still not been confirmed by the police. 

However, the only active case involving  Bao Sach under the jurisdiction of the Can Tho 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 still uncertain whether this led to their arrests, as most state-owned media outlets have reported about CADIF’s wrongdoings in matters of 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: 2021-11-04 00:57:49

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