Profile

Dang Dang Phuoc

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Dang Dang Phuoc

Other Names: Đặng Đăng Phước, Đặng Phước

Date of Birth: August 20, 1963

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Teaching professional

Areas of Activism:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Democracy
  • Freedom of expression
  • Human rights
  • Sovereignty

Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:

  • Online commentator

April 2024:

Dang Dang Phuoc was allowed to write a short letter to his father. Phuoc’s wife, Le Thi Ha, said he had to go to the common area to write the letter, with a prison guard looking over his shoulder. Phuoc wrote in the letter that he should be proud of Phuoc because “I never did anything wrong, I only chose to help speed up the process of democratization, knowing full well what the sacrifices might be.” 

Earlier in the month:

Le Thi Ha, Dang Dang Phuoc's wife, told Project88 that she received a decision by the head of Daklak’s School of Pedagogy to “discipline” the music teacher because he’s convicted of “anti-state propaganda” and is serving an 8-year prison sentence. On the same day that decision was signed (12/21/2023), another decision by the Bureau of Education and Training of Dak Lak was also issued to fire him; however, Le Thi Ha said she only received the latter a few days ago. She added that Phuoc had been receiving only half of his salary between the time he was arrested (Sep. 2022) to Dec. 2023; after Jan. 2024, everything was terminated. On March 25, Ha also received a notification that Phuoc’s electronic devices and data related to the case will be destroyed, and the rest will be returned to her.

March 2024:

Dang Dang Phuoc’s wife, Le Thi Ha, and two of his siblings visited him on March 17. It was the first time in 18 months the two siblings had seen him, since they were not allowed inside the courtroom when he was tried. Phuoc said that political prisoners are not permitted to have pen and paper in their cell but have to go to the common room and borrow pen and paper there, which they have to request ahead of time. Phuoc said that despite this “unfair treatment,” he still managed to write two letters, which he gave to prison officials for “review;” he said he had not heard back from the officials.  

February 2024:

Dang Dang Phuoc’s wife visited him on Feb. 4 and reported that Phuoc “looked healthy and was moving about swiftly.” It took a 14 hour round trip for Ha to see her husband for just 24 minutes. During their brief conversation, Ha learned that the following items could not be sent from home: soap bars; cashews, almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and watermelon seeds (traditional Tet snacks).

December 2023:

Music teacher Dang Dang Phuoc’s wife told RFA that the police have been spying on her. “Neighbors secretly told me that local police installed cameras on Dec. 15. The camera was installed on the neighbor’s porch across from my house and pointed directly at my house.” 

***

Dang Dang Phuoc has been stripped of his job by the Dak Lak College of Pedagogy. Phuoc, 60, was convicted last June of spreading “anti-state propaganda” and sentenced to eight years in prison. His wife said that since Phuoc’s arrest, the school had been slashing his monthly pay in half; the latest decision will make their already dire economic situation even worse.

September 2023:

As expected, Dang Dang Phuoc’s appeal trial on September 26 resulted in no change to his sentence of eight years in prison.

June 2023:

On June 6, Dang Dang Phuoc, a music teacher from Dak Lak Province, was convicted of spreading “anti-state propaganda” and sentenced to eight years in prison and four years of probation.

Details - Background, History of Activism, Family Situation, Contact Information.

Dang Dang Phuoc is a music lecturer at the Dak Lak College of Pedagogy, who lives and works in Buon Me Thuot City, Dak Lak Province. Phuoc is a critic who frequently shared his views on human rights abuses, corruption, education and other social political issues in Vietnam via his Facebook accounts and blog. His two Facebook accounts have more than 8,000 followers in total. Also, Phuoc runs a blog called Musical Library with more than 2.1 million visits and more than 3.5 million views, sharing his knowledge about music, education, and his political views.

Profile photo source: Dang Phuoc's Facebook

Due to his online activism, Phuoc has been placed in the sights of the government for years. On July 22, 2022, he was summoned by the Dak Lak Department of Information and Communication to discuss posts on his Facebook accounts. Phuoc complied with the summons, went to the department and got home safely after the meeting.

July 2023:

Ha Le, Phuoc's wife, said she had received numerous summons from the Dak Lak police, which she called a form of harassment.

March 2024:

Ha Le reported to Project88 that on March 13, she received an invitation from the Dak Lak Provincial Police to answer questions related to her Facebook use. On March 14, she was questioned by them and returned home the same day.

Dang Phuoc's Facebook account (1)

Dang Phuoc's Facebook account (2)

Dang Phuoc's Blog

Dang Phuoc’s Facebook Post, July 22, 2022

July 22, 2022: summoned for questioning related to Facebook posts

Police interrogation
July 22, 2022
Local administration
08 Ly Thai To Street, Buon Me Thuot City (map)

freedom of expression

On July 22, 2022, Phuoc posted on his Facebook account that he complied with the Dak Lak Department of Information and Communication summons and also shared his experience about the working session with representatives of the department. 

According to Phuoc, the department representatives asked him about three things: (1) Was he the owner of two Facebook accounts? (2) Had he posted all the articles and videos on his accounts? and (3) The two Facebook posts on his account called “The Uncle gave gifts to beautiful girls," and “Arguments by the Dong Lao region."

For questions (1) and (2), Phuoc answered that he created his first Facebook account in 2009, and that it was later hacked. Hence, he did not use that account anymore. He said he then signed up for his second Facebook account, but it had before been hacked; he claimed he could not control it. Phuoc confirmed that live-streamed videos on the second Facebook were posted by himself, while he did not take credit for articles and other content on the page. 


For question (3), Phuoc affirmed that there were two mentioned posts on the Facebook timeline, but he was not the writer and he does not know how to remove them due to his limited IT skills. The department representatives concluded that the two posts had content that violated Article 5.1 of “Providing false information, slandering or damaging the reputation of organizations or dignity of individuals” and Article 26.4 of Decree 72/2013 NĐCP, and asked Phuoc to remove them. However, Phuoc told them that he did not know how to do that.

Dang Phuoc’s Facebook Post, July 22, 2022. 

Giảng viên bị bắt với cáo buộc chống phá Nhà nước, VNExpress, September 8, 2022.

Arrested September 8, 2022. Sentenced to 8 years in prison and 4 years probation under Art. 117 (2015 Code). Expected Release is September 8, 2030.

September 8, 2022
  • Art. 117 (2015 Code)
Dak Lak province public security, Dak Lak province
Tan Loi Ward, Buon Me Thuot City (map)
June 6, 2023
  • Le Dinh Viet
  • Nguyen Van Mieng
8 years in prison and 4 years probation
September 8, 2030
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression

On September 8, 2022, state media reported that Dak Lak provincial public security arrested Dang Dang Phuoc. He is charged with “storing, making, and posting online materials that propagandize, distort, and defame the Socialist Republic of Vietnam” under Article 117 of the 2015 Criminal Code. 

According to state media, from 2019 onwards, Phuoc had regularly posted many articles and videos on his Facebook accounts, which the government alleged included distorting and anti-State content. The authorities added that although he was repeatedly lectured and warned by the local authorities, he published more extreme posts. Noticeably, his most recent post was about activist Bui Tuan Lam, who was arrested the day before Phuoc was arrested. 

A close friend of Phuoc (who wished to remain anonymous due to security concerns) told RFA that  “Phuoc was arrested around 6 am when he was doing morning exercises near his house. He was then escorted home and his house was searched for hours.” 

On September 14, the Security Investigation Agency of Dak Lak province’s Police Department sent Phuoc’s family a notice issued two days earlier which stated: “Dang Dang Phuoc did not ask for a defense [lawyer] but [chose to] protect his own interests during the investigation process.” His wife, Le Thi Ha, told the media that she doesn’t believe the contents of the notice as “My husband told me to hire a lawyer for him before he was arrested,” she explained.

April 2023:

On April 11, a lawyer for Dang Dang Phuoc confirmed that the investigation into his client had been completed. Phuoc, a music teacher from Dak Lak Province, was arrested in September 2022 and charged with “anti-state propaganda.” His wife Ha Le said on her Facebook page that Phuoc’s lawyer, Le Xuan Anh Phuc, had met with her husband and reported that he was in good spirits, and that his health was normal.

May 2023:

Ha Le, Phuoc's wife, posted on her Facebook page that she was able to visit her husband in prison on May 2. He told her that the Procuracy has finished its investigation and has issued an indictment. Phuoc is charged with disseminating “anti-State propaganda.” He said his health has been getting better since he was moved from Section A1 to T1, allowing him to have more sunshine. It is unclear why he was moved to a new prison section or why the two sections differ.

According to his wife, Le Thi Ha, Phuoc was healthy before his arrest.

Phuoc has no mental health issues, as confirmed to The 88 Project by his wife.

Profile last updated: 2024-04-16 18:34:54

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