Greetings from The 88 Project! We are bringing you news, analysis, and actions regarding human rights and civil society in Vietnam during the week of February 19-25. Young political prisoner Nguyen Van Hoa was transferred to a prison in Quang Nam province, 500 km away from his hometown. Prominent activist Pham Doan Trang faces imminent arrest and prosecution and we urge you to take immediate action for her. Two activists in Ho Chi Minh city were evicted after participating in a peaceful memorial of soldiers and civilians killed by the army of China in 1979. Dissident singer Mai Khoi was recognized by Amnesty International as one of 12 inspiring human rights activists to follow in 2018.
In international advocacy, Nguyen Trung Trong Nghia, son of imprisoned pastor Nguyen Trung Ton, addressed the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy to describe the persecution of his father and other religious leaders. Meanwhile, UN human rights experts urged the Vietnamese government to release individuals jailed for protesting the Formosa chemical spill. Read the section on Vietnam in Amnesty International’s Annual Report, and more news on Vietnamese politics, internet freedom, and EU-Vietnam FTA. Last but not least, please take action for Pham Doan Trang and pastor Nguyen Trung Ton and his fellow activists.
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HUMAN RIGHTS & CIVIL SOCIETY
NEWS & ANALYSIS
Amnesty International, Annual Report 2017/18, Section on Vietnam: “Arbitrary restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly continued. A crackdown on dissent intensified, causing scores of activists to flee the country. Human rights defenders, peaceful political activists and religious followers were subjected to a range of human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, prosecution on national security and other vaguely worded charges in unfair trials, and long-term imprisonment. Prominent activists faced restrictions on movement and were subject to surveillance, harassment and violent assaults. Prisoners of conscience were tortured and otherwise ill-treated. Suspicious deaths in police custody were reported, and the death penalty was retained.”
Will Vietnam’s Communist Party Ever Change Its Ways?: “‘Reluctant terror,’ a phrase used to describe post-1968 Czechoslovakia, where repression was carried out sporadically to maintain the Party’s power, is rather apt for what is currently happening in Vietnam. Indeed, repression in post-1968 Czechoslovakia wasn’t on a Stalinist level; repression in Vietnam today isn’t on a Chinese level, either. Unfortunately, I suspect none of this will ease up in the coming years, meaning writers like Pham Doan Trang will remain of vital importance.”
Please take immediate action for Pham Doan Trang to protect her from being arrested by raising concerns with the Vietnamese governments about her arbitrary temporary detention and by sharing the information about her situation.
Please take Amnesty International’s Urgent Action for Pham Van Troi, Truong Minh Duc, and Nguyen Trung Ton. They are being held in incommunicado detention and need access to healthcare treatment. You can also take Front Line Defender’s action for Nguyen Trung Ton, Pham Van Troi, Nguyen Bac Truyen, and Truong Minh Duc, calling for their immediate release.