Profile

Vu Thi Kim Hoang

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Vu Thi Kim Hoang

Other Names: Vũ Thị Kim Hoàng

Date of Birth: March 9, 1978

Gender: F

Religion: Christian

Ethnicity: Kinh

Areas of Activism:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Democracy
  • Human rights
  • Sovereignty
  • Police Brutality

An appeal court in Dong Nai Province upheld the sentences for YouTube blogger Nguyen Thai Hung (four years) and his wife Vu Thi Kim Hoang (two and a half years) for “abusing democratic freedoms.” Their Youtube channel had only a modest following of 40,000 followers but became a target of investigation after their reporting on the deadly police raid of Dong Tam Commune in January 2020. The couple was arrested in January 2022, but Hoang was later released in April that year. After the trial, Hoang told RFA that she had no part in the making or production of the videos and that “the outcome was unfair.”

She is not currently in detention.

Details

Immediate Concerns

An appeal court in Dong Nai Province upheld the sentences for YouTube blogger Nguyen Thai Hung (four years) and his wife Vu Thi Kim Hoang (two and a half years) for “abusing democratic freedoms.” Their Youtube channel had only a modest following of 40,000 followers but became a target of investigation after their reporting on the deadly police raid of Dong Tam Commune in January 2020. The couple was arrested in January 2022, but Hoang was later released in April that year. After the trial, Hoang told RFA that she had no part in the making or production of the videos and that “the outcome was unfair.”

She is not currently in detention.

Background

Vu Thi Kim Hoang lives in Dong Nai Province. Profile photo source: Radio Free Asia

History of Activism

According to Vu Giang Tien, sister of Vu Thi Kim Hoang, Hoang has not been sharing her views on her Facebook account. Hoang was not known for her role in political activism. 

We noticed that Hoang simply uploaded some of her profile pictures with picture frames supporting the leader of Dong Tam community, Le Dinh Kinh; the Hong Kong democracy movement; and commemorating the Gac Ma battle. Furthermore, she shared others' Facebook posts on topics of anti-corruption, Vietnamese activists, protests in Myanmar, the 2021 election in Vietnam, the BOT movement etc; without any captions or additional commentary when sharing.

Family Situation

She has two children. Her husband, Nguyen Thai Hung, was arrested on the same day as her.

Sentenced to 2 years 6 months in prison under Art. 331 (2015 Code).

  • Art. 331 (2015 Code)
Tan Phu district public security, Dong Nai province
Phu Xuan ward, Tan Phu district, Dong Nai province (map)
November, 2022
Ngo Thi Hoang Anh
2 years 6 months in prison
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • fair trial
Details of Imprisonment

On January 5, 2022, local police in the southern province of Dong Nai broke into Nguyen Thai Hung's home and arrested him and his wife, Vu Thi Kim Hoang, while he was live streaming criticism of the government on YouTube. 

Hung was arrested while the camera was still rolling, therefore, the viewers of the livestream were able to witness the incident, which was recorded by RFA and is available here

According to the recorded video, Hung was talking about the new law on traffic violations. About 20 minutes into the broadcast, Hung suddenly heard something that sounded like glass breaking, so he left his computer to see what was happening. Shortly after, a man in an orange “Electricity of Vietnam” uniform appeared in the livestream frame, shouting, “Stay still. Don’t move.” At that point, the webcam was turned down to show only a corner of the table and what looks to be a script. The surreal video clip, which captured the sounds of breaking glass and shouting men, has since gone viral.

Vu Giang Tien, the sister-in-law of Hung, said that the incident took place around 6 pm on January 5. Four men suddenly entered the house and broke the glass door to open it. The two kids of Hung and Hoang were taken to an upstairs room to be interrogated, which is totally unlawful. Shortly after, many uniformed police came and surrounded the house. They searched the house, making a mess; then they arrested Hung and his wife. The intense forceful entry made it seem like a burglary at first. The couple was taken away around 10 pm.

At the time, the couple’s family was neither shown any warrants for arrests nor told why this had happened. 

When the family asked why Hoang was also arrested, the police said they needed to keep her for investigation because she was involved in concealing a crime.

On January 7, 2022, the family went to the Tan Phu police station to find out more and were handed an announcement by police, stating that Hoang had been arrested for “abusing democratic freedoms” under Article 331 of the 2015 Criminal Code.

The Dong Nai authorities have yet to make any official statement on Hung’s case. He is still being held and the family has not been allowed to see him since his arrest.

Noticeably, Hoang has been transferred to the Long Thanh District public security detention center and held there, while she is a citizen of the Tan Phu District.  Her family has not been allowed to see her since the arrest. 

Resources

Vietnam police arrest couple as they livestream criticism of the government, RFA, January 10, 2022 

Đồng Nai: Hai vợ chồng bị bắt giam khi đang trên sóng live stream nói về chế độ cộng sản, RFA, January 10, 2022

Vietnam police arrest man while livestreaming on social media, FRA YouTube channel, January 11, 2022

Đồng Nai: Giữa lúc livestream, đôi vợ chồng bị bắt vì ‘lợi dụng tự do dân chủ’, VOA Vietnamese, January 12, 2022

Sắp xử phúc thẩm, công an thuyết phục Youtuber "Nói Bằng Thực TV" nhận tội, RFA Vietnamese, March 8, 2023

November, 2022: trial

November, 2022
Phu Xuan ward, Tan Phu district, Dong Nai province (map)

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

On January 5, 2022, local police in the southern province of Dong Nai broke into Nguyen Thai Hung's home and arrested him and his wife, Vu Thi Kim Hoang, while he was live streaming criticism of the government on YouTube. 

Hung was arrested while the camera was still rolling, therefore, the viewers of the livestream were able to witness the incident, which was recorded by RFA and is available here

According to the recorded video, Hung was talking about the new law on traffic violations. About 20 minutes into the broadcast, Hung suddenly heard something that sounded like glass breaking, so he left his computer to see what was happening. Shortly after, a man in an orange “Electricity of Vietnam” uniform appeared in the livestream frame, shouting, “Stay still. Don’t move.” At that point, the webcam was turned down to show only a corner of the table and what looks to be a script. The surreal video clip, which captured the sounds of breaking glass and shouting men, has since gone viral.

Vu Giang Tien, the sister-in-law of Hung, said that the incident took place around 6 pm on January 5. Four men suddenly entered the house and broke the glass door to open it. The two kids of Hung and Hoang were taken to an upstairs room to be interrogated, which is totally unlawful. Shortly after, many uniformed police came and surrounded the house. They searched the house, making a mess; then they arrested Hung and his wife. The intense forceful entry made it seem like a burglary at first. The couple was taken away around 10 pm.

At the time, the couple’s family was neither shown any warrants for arrests nor told why this had happened. 

When the family asked why Hoang was also arrested, the police said they needed to keep her for investigation because she was involved in concealing a crime.

On January 7, 2022, the family went to the Tan Phu police station to find out more and were handed an announcement by police, stating that Hoang had been arrested for “abusing democratic freedoms” under Article 331 of the 2015 Criminal Code.

The Dong Nai authorities have yet to make any official statement on Hung’s case. He is still being held and the family has not been allowed to see him since his arrest.

Noticeably, Hoang has been transferred to the Long Thanh District public security detention center and held there, while she is a citizen of the Tan Phu District.  Her family has not been allowed to see her since the arrest. 

Resources

Vietnam police arrest couple as they livestream criticism of the government, RFA, January 10, 2022 

Đồng Nai: Hai vợ chồng bị bắt giam khi đang trên sóng live stream nói về chế độ cộng sản, RFA, January 10, 2022

Vietnam police arrest man while livestreaming on social media, FRA YouTube channel, January 11, 2022

Đồng Nai: Giữa lúc livestream, đôi vợ chồng bị bắt vì ‘lợi dụng tự do dân chủ’, VOA Vietnamese, January 12, 2022

Sắp xử phúc thẩm, công an thuyết phục Youtuber "Nói Bằng Thực TV" nhận tội, RFA Vietnamese, March 8, 2023

Profile last updated: 2024-06-13 20:34:07

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