The NGO Human Rights Wathc (HRW) has called on the Vietnamese authorities to release human rights activist Pham Doan Trang and to drop her charges of “propaganda against the state”.
The Vietnamese judiciary is planning to prosecute the activist this Tuesday and face up to twelve years in prison due to an article in the criminal code, the organization said in a statement.
“Pham Doan Trang has faced harsh government retaliation for defending speech, press and human rights for decades,” said HRW Asia director Phil Robertson, who has criticized the indictment against them Authorities in the country “show how much they fear critical voices”.
The activist was arrested in Ho Chi Minh City in October 2020 and has been in preventive detention since then and has deprived her of the right to a lawyer.
Pham Doan Trang has participated in peaceful protests against government policies throughout his career and has participated in numerous demonstrations against the arrest of other activists.
Before she was arrested in 2016, police had prevented her from attending a meeting with then-President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the following year she was arrested after meeting a European Union delegation. In 2018, she was arrested and interrogated up to two times for her critical writings and activities by the Vietnamese authorities.
She is accused of illegally storing documents in English that “have the content of promoting psychological warfare, disseminating false information, causing confusion among people, disseminating distorted information about the guidelines and policies of the state and defame the administration “.
For HMR, however, writing about “environmental disasters, human rights violations, lack of religious freedom and discussions with the international media” are not acts that constitute a crime. “The government should welcome Pham Doan Trang’s investigation into wrongdoing, abuse and misconduct rather than punishing them,” Robertson said.
The activist has campaigned for an impartial judicial system that respects human rights, including criticism of forced confessions, the use of material for corporal punishment by the authorities and the death penalty.
“The Vietnamese government bears no responsibility for its decades of suppression of critics like Pham Doan Trang,” complained Robertson, who appealed to the country’s trading partners in this connection – “like the USA, the Union of Europe”. , Australia and Japan “- to stop” sweeping Vietnam’s systemic violations under the rug. “