Nguyen Nhu Phuong

Current Status: Sentenced to prison

Photo of Nguyen Nhu Phuong

Other Names: Nguyễn Như Phương, Nguyễn Phương, Phương Hàng Nhật

Date of Birth: 1991

Gender: M

Occupation: Entrepreneur

Areas of Activism:

  • Digital rights
  • Freedom of expression
  • Human rights
  • Sovereignty

Known Affiliations:

Highlighted Human Rights Concerns:

  • Denial of Adequate Medical Treatment or Supplies
  • Infliction of Physical and Psychological Pain

January 2024:

Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, the mother of Nguyen Nhu Phuong, told Project88 that in November, officials at a detention center in Long Dien County, Ba Ria–Vung Tau Province, did indeed physically assault her son causing him to cough up blood, as we first reported last week. The incident allegedly occurred after the family went to the center to give Phuong some items, including two shirts, which the guards did not let him have. A verbal argument ensued during which time Phuong was hit in the head with a bottle by the warden, and after which he was beaten by three guards. That afternoon, Phuong was beaten again after he refused to sign a report stating that the family never sent him any shirts. He also was not allowed any family visits during the month of December as punishment. It wasn’t until Phuong was transferred to Xuyen Moc Prison that he was able to tell his mother the story. When Thu Ha confronted the head of the detention center, named Nhật, he allegedly admitted to the beatings but asked her to “not make a big deal out of it,” she said.

Details - Background, History of Activism.

Nguyen Nhu Phuong (residing in Ba Ria - Vung Tau) graduated from Ho Chi Minh City Industry and Trade College and he has been working in Japan since 2014, regularly going back and forth between Vietnam and Japan.

Profile photo: Nguyen Nhu Phuong at the People's Court of An Giang province. Source

According to state media, Phuong regularly has been going back and forth between Vietnam and Japan since 2014 to study and do business. 

Since the beginning of 2016, Phuong frequently visited the Facebook accounts of so-called “reactionaries" such as “Hoang Dung", “Pham Doan Trang", “Nguyen Lan Thang",... to watch videos, and view images, documents, and posts that had content alleged to be against the ruling party and state of Vietnam.

Phuong also became a member of “NO U Sài Gòn” and “Văn phòng Công lý và hòa bình" -- The Office for Justice and Peace (this is a charity group under the sponsorship of Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer Sài Gòn - C.Ss.R. The Office was closed in 2019 due to fear of religious persecution). Phuong often participated in and organized protests and distributed many ‘allegedly’ reactionary documents.

The authorities stated that Phuong also used the Facebook account “Nguyen Phuong (Phuong Hang Nhat)” to share and post information, images, and videos from the above-mentioned Facebook accounts for the purpose of opposing the ruling party and state of Vietnam.

Arrested August 30, 2022. Sentenced to 5 years in prison and 3 years probation under Art. 117 (2015 Code). Expected Release is August 30, 2027.

August 30, 2022
  • Art. 117 (2015 Code)
Ba Ria city public security, Ba Ria - Vung Tau province
Ba Ria-Vung Tau province (map)
December 26, 2022
The People’s Court of An Giang Province
Dang Dinh Manh
5 years in prison and 3 years probation
August 30, 2027
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
  • liberty and security of the person
  • freedom of expression
  • fair trial

On October 3, 2021, the Facebook account “Hoang Dung” uploaded a sound recording lasting more than six minutes with the content of a discussion on COVID-19 prevention in An Giang, in which one person was believed to be the Major General  Dinh Van Noi - the police chief of An Giang province at that time - and the other person was a former leader of An Giang province.

Facebooker “Nguyen Phuong” was believed to be one of the three Facebookers uploading and disseminating recordings and other information, documents, images, and videos with contents that distorted guidelines and policies of the ruling party and state of Vietnam and affected negatively the COVID-19 prevention of An Giang province and the country.

On October 9, 2021, the An Giang Security Investigation Agency issued a decision on filing a criminal lawsuit related to the above recording, but it still has not issued the decision on filing charges against any suspects.

On January 25, 2022, the An Giang Department of Information and Communications assessed 53 pages of documents from the Facebook account “Nguyen Phuong” and concluded that it had "anti-state propaganda content."

On August 30, 2022, Phuong traveled from Japan back to Ba Ria - Vung Tau and went to a friend's wedding. On the evening of August 30, 2022, Phuong and a group of four friends were allegedly caught using narcotic substances. Phuong was then temporarily detained at the detention center of Ba Ria Police under the accusation of “illegal storage of narcotic substances” and “facilitation of illegal use of narcotic substances."

On September 15, 2022, the An Giang Department of Information and Communications continued to conclude that 87 pages of documents extracted from Facebook account “Nguyen Phuong” had "anti-state propaganda content."

On September 29, 2022, the An Giang Security Investigation Agency issued a decision on filing charges against Nguyen Nhu Phuong.

On December 26, 2022, at the first-instance trial, Phuong was sentenced to five years in prison and three years of probation according to Article 117 of Criminal Code.

It is uncelar whether he will be prosecuted for the original narcotic charge.

March 2023:

At Nguyen Nhu Phuong’s trial on March 20, 2023, the court added an extra 15 months to his sentence for a “drug possession” charge on top of the “anti-state propaganda” charge, making his total prison sentence six years and three months. Phuong’s lawyer Nguyen Van Mieng reported on his Facebook page that Phuong said: “I am innocent. I would accept any decision by the court; however, I ask for leniency for my friends.”

Profile last updated: 2024-02-03 02:27:30

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