Take Action for Banned Books Week 2020
Release Nguyen Van Hoa Immediately
Journalist and human rights defender Nguyen Van Hoa, was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison in December 2017 for reporting on the 2016 Formosa environmental disaster in central Vietnam and was tortured by the authorities to confess to his “crime”. In May 2019, he was being held in solitary confinement as punishment for his refusal to cooperate.
Nguyen Van Hoa is a journalist who worked for the Vietnamese service desk at Radio Free Asia. In summer 2016, the Formosa environmental disaster occurred in the four provinces in the central coastline of Vietnam. Nguyen Van Hoa was among the first media persons to approach the affected area and cover the situation.
Several demonstrations were held by people in Ha Tinh and Nghe An provinces during the period of the disaster to demand the Vietnamese government respond to the situation. The local authorities reacted to these demonstrations with anti-riot police, using excessive force. Clashes happened between police and protestors, leading to a series of arrests targeting community leaders, environmental activists and journalists.
Nguyen Van Hoa was arrested in June 2017 and charged with “conducting propaganda against the state” under article 88 of the 1999 Penal Code. In November 2017, in a secret trial, Nguyen Van Hoa was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison. Neither his lawyer nor his family were present during the court proceedings.
In August 2018, Nguyen Van Hoa was allowed to testify in court during a trial against environmental activist Le Dinh Luong. During those proceedings, he told the judge that he had been beaten by interrogators to give forced confessions. Instead of promptly launching an investigation into his claim, the judge sent him back to prison and without any action on the allegation.
Take action online now and sign this petition immediately. You can also write and send a physical letter using the information below:
Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc
Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
1233 20th St NW Ste 400, Washington DC 20036
Updated on Aug 24, 2020.