The 88 Project Announces Updated Timeline of Freedom of Expression in Vietnam

Figure 1: Timeline year and category filters

The 88 Project is proud to announce that our improved Timeline of Freedom of Expression in Vietnam (“Timeline”) is now live. The Timeline completes a trio of tools that track the situation of political prisoners and activists at risk in Vietnam, joining the Database of Persecuted Activists in Vietnam and the Map of Human Rights Violations to provide multiple ways in which activists, media, NGOs, academics, and other interested individuals can follow the progression of the crackdown on dissent in Vietnam and learn about its deeply personal effects. While the Timeline existed on our old website, we’ve redesigned it to make it more inclusive of different types of events and easier to use. 

The Database focuses on profiles of activists, while the Map centers on incidents and perpetrators. The Timeline, however, is focused on time and categories of events. It displays important events in the struggle for freedom of expression in Vietnam vertically in reverse chronological order. This includes every arrest and trial of an activist that was in prison as of January 2018, as well as incidents of harassment since 2018. Users can now utilize one or all of the tools available on The 88 Project’s website to sort through the same pool of up-to-date information on political prisoners and activists at risk. 

The Timeline also provides an extra element of visual analysis, as users can see increases and decreases in events over and across time, as well as distributions of types of events. It also provides another layer of data through the addition of the special events and government and civil society categories, which highlight important milestones for us at The 88 Project, as well as events such as UN actions, new laws in Vietnam, and international appeals for support of activists.

Figure 2: Hover over an event to make it larger; the date is on one side and the description on the opposite side

In order to locate the Timeline from The 88 Project homepage, click on “Timeline” from the main menu, in between “Map” and “News.” Use the filters at the left side of the top of the Timeline page to collapse or expand certain years of information. The Timeline begins with events in 2000, though it has the most incidents in recent years. To the right of the years filters are the category filters, which are the groups of events displayed in the Timeline (Figure 1). They are: harassment incidents (incidents perpetrated against activists apart from arrests and trials), arrests, trials, government and civil society events, and special events. Uncheck the box next to a category to hide that type of event. Each category is displayed in the color by which it is identified in the actual Timeline. As you scroll through the Timeline, the colors provide an easy way to distinguish between event types. Each category also has a unique icon identifier, such as a globe for government and civil society events. 

Hover over an event to make it appear larger in the Timeline (Figure 2). On one side of the entry, you will see the date the event occurred. On the opposite side, you will see a description of the event. Click on any link within the entry to read more about the event. At the bottom of the Timeline page, you can find a list of annual events and days of memorial. You can easily navigate to this area by clicking “Annual Events” at the top of the web page. 

In the future, we hope to back-date events on the Timeline and add in items pre-2000 as well. We welcome any user feedback, as well as inquiries about how to use the Timeline. We hope that it will inspire users to engage with the data in new ways. With the Database, Map, and Timeline, we are confident that users can efficiently locate the most comprehensive and current information on political prisoners and activists at risk in Vietnam.

© 2019 The 88 Project