PEN Mourns the Death of Writer and Activist Dinh Dang Dinh
PEN mourns the death from cancer of blogger Dinh Dang Dinh on April 3, 2014. Dinh Dang Dinh was granted an amnesty from a six-year prison sentence on March 21, 2014, and was released home to die. PEN sends its sincere condolences to his family.
On August 9, 2012, Dinh Dang Dinh (pen name: Van Nguyen), 51, was sentenced by the Dak Nong province’s People Court to six years in prison under Article 88-1 (c) of the Criminal Code for “conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.” Defending himself at the half-day closed trial, he pleaded not guilty. His sentence was upheld on appeal at a 45-minute hearing on November 21, 2012. The charges were brought against him after he published articles on his blog tackling corruption and environmental issues, deemed antigovernment.
Until recently, Dinh Dang Dinh was detained in the Public Security Police Cong An detention camp, Dak Nong province. He underwent an operation for liver and stomach cancer in November 2013, but his health continued to rapidly decline and on February 15, 2014, he was granted a one-year “temporary suspension” of his prison sentence and transferred to Ho Chi Minh’s Oncology Hospital, where his wife reported that he was kept under close guard and 24-hour surveillance. An amnesty was granted on March 21, 2014, and he died at home on April 3, 2014.