Free the well-known journalist Pham Doan Trang at once!
Support the campaign for the urgent release of Pham Doan Trang, one of the leading representatives of independent journalism in Vietnam, who was awarded the RSF Press Freedom Prize for Impact a year ago. Detained for the past two months, she could be tortured and is facing a possible 20-year jail sentence. She doesn't deserve to be in prison! Help us by signing our #FreePhamDoanTrang appeal!
Arrested in her Ho Chi Minh City apartment on the night of 6 October 2020, this well-known journalist was placed in detention on a charge of “anti-government propaganda” without being allowed access to a lawyer. The real reason for her arrest was her work as founder of the dissident online magazine Luât Khoa and editor of The Vietnamese – two publications that help Vietnamese citizens to understand the country’s laws, defend their rights and resist the Vietnamese Communist Party’s authoritarian rule.
Because of her work, this 42-year-old journalist is being prosecuted like a common criminal and is facing up to 20 years in prison although all she did was provide her fellow citizens with information that would help them to fully enjoy the rights that their country’s constitution is supposed to guarantee.
Trang has become a model for countless young, freedom-loving Vietnamese activists. In a letter written in May in which she already sensed that she could be arrested, she said her own freedom mattered little and that her imprisonment should serve to draw attention to her cause: "I don't want freedom for myself, that's too easy. No, I want something greater – freedom for Vietnam.”
In a #FreePhamDoanTrang campaign video released by RSF, Vietnamese journalists, bloggers and friends now based in France, Germany, Taiwan and the United States take advantage of their exile to support Pham Doan Trang and to say what their compatriots still in Vietnam cannot say without risking long prison sentences:
She is one of Vietnam’s most respected writers and her latest work, published a month before her arrest, is based on her investigation into a massacre in a village on the outskirts of Hanoi that was the target of a violent police raid last January with the aim of crushing resistance by residents contesting the seizure of their land by the authorities.
Because of her determined opposition to all forms of injustice and discrimination, she has repeatedly been targeted by the Vietnamese authorities and had to be hospitalized as a result of the after-effects of a beating at the hands of the Ho Chi Minh City police when she was arrested in August 2018.
Now detained by the Vietnamese authorities, she risks being beaten again and tortured in prison. We fear the worst and we ask you to sign this petition for her immediate and unconditional release. Every signature counts. And please share the petition on social media using the #FreePhamDoanTrang hashtag.