Posts Tagged ‘Viet Tan’

Viet Nam: profile of human rights defender Nguyen Thuy Hanh, arrested and charged

April 9, 2021

Responding to the arbitrary arrest of prominent Vietnamese human rights defender Nguyen Thuy Hanh on 7 April , Ming Yu Hah, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns, said:  “The arrest of Nguyen Thuy Hanh is a blatant and politically-motivated attempt to silence one of the most respected human rights advocates in the country.  Nguyen Thuy Hanh is an inspiring activist who has worked tirelessly to support unjustly detained persons in Viet Nam. Despite police beatings and years of harassment, she has remained steadfast in her efforts to help and support those in desperate need. Vietnamese jails are notoriously overcrowded and fail to meet minimum international standards. It is a travesty that Nguyen Thuy Hanh is being targeted for her humanitarian work in support of unjustly detained prisoners. She should be celebrated and supported for this work – not punished. 

We urge the Vietnamese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Nguyen Thuy Hanh and to end their relentless attacks on human rights defenders and peaceful critics. Authorities must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association.” [see also yesterday’s:

Nguyen Thuy Hanh is a human rights defender from Ha Noi. She founded the 50K Fund in 2017, through which she fundraised support for the families of unjustly detained persons across Viet Nam.  In 2019 she won the Le Dinh Luong Human Rights Award an award given by the U.S.-based opposition party Viet Tan for her work supporting the families of prisoners of conscience.

She was arrested on 7 April 2021 and charged under Article 117 of the Criminal Code for “making, storing, or spreading information, materials or items for the purpose of opposing the State of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam”, carrying a potential prison sentence of between five and 20 years.  

Nguyen Thuy Hanh is also a vocal advocate for human rights with a popular Facebook account, where she frequently discusses human rights issues. She has faced multiple instances of harassment in retaliation for her peaceful human rights activism. 

Nguyen Thuy Hanh nominated herself as an independent candidate for Ha Noi City in the 2016 National Assembly election. Since then, she has been subjected to harassment and intimidation on many occasions. Amnesty International recently called on the Vietnamese authorities to end their mounting crackdown on independent candidates and other critical voices ahead of the 2021 National Assembly election. 

In January 2020, when police raided the village of Dong Tam in Ha Noi, leading to a deadly conflict, Nguyen Thuy Hanh fundraised for the family of a village leader who was killed by security forces. In retaliation, her bank account was frozen, with her bank reportedly telling Nguyen Thuy Hanh that police forced them to do so.  

In June 2018, while engaging in a peaceful protest against the Law on Cybersecurity and the Law on Special Economic Zones, Nguyen Thuy Hanh was arrested and detained by police. She reported afterwards that she was severely beaten during the interrogation which resulted in injuries to her face.  Police have also interrogated Nguyen Thuy Hanh on her work relating to the 50k Fund on many occasions.   

Amnesty International’s 2016 report, Prisons Within Prisons, documented the widespread torture and other ill-treatment which prisoners of conscience are subjected to in Viet Nam.


January 10, 2013


  • Ho Duc Hoa (13 years in prison, 5 years house arrest)
  • Dang Xuan Dieu (13 years in prison, 5 years house arrest)
  • Paulus Le Son (13 years in prison, 5 years house arrest)
  • Nguyen Van Duyet (6 years in prison, 4 years house arrest)
  • Nguyen Van Oai (3 years in prison, 2 years house arrest)
  • Ho Van Oanh (3 years in prison, 2 years house arrest)
  • Nguyen Dinh Cuong (4 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
  • Nguyen Xuan Anh (5 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
  • Thai Van Dung (5 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
  • Tran Minh Nhat (4 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
  • Nong Hung Anh (5 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
  • Nguyen Dang Vinh Phuc (probation)
  • Nguyen Dang Minh Man (9 years in prison, 3 years house arrest)
  • Dang Ngoc Minh (3 years in prison, 2 years house arrest)

The men and women were convicted of “carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration” under Article 79 of the penal code. The criminal activities the group are said to have engaged in include writing commentary that is critical of the Government and distributing this on the internet, and both participating in and encouraging peaceful protest. ARTICLE 19 believes that these activities should not be considered to be criminal. The Vietnamese authorities have failed to recognise basic human rights and these convictions fail to meet international standards freedom of expression. “Thirteen people [one was given probation – ed] are now behind bars for doing nothing more than expressing legitimate political concerns.  They have been locked away for sharing views about matters of public importance on the internet and for taking part in peaceful demonstrations. These are not things which should be considered criminal. It seems that the real crime here is the appalling abuse of fundamental rights, including the right to freedom of expression, by the state” said Agnes Callamard, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19.

The group, many of them bloggers and citizen journalists, were arrested between August and December 2011 and held for more than a year before standing trial.