Phạm Đoan Trang

Phạm Đoan Trang is a Vietnamese writer, publisher, journalist, and  pro-democracy activist currently imprisoned in Vietnam due to her writings in support of human rights. In 2022, Vietnam ranked as the fourth leading country for the highest number of imprisoned writers with 18 writers in prison.

Trang was arrested by authorities in October 2020, and in December 2021 the People’s Court of Hanoi sentenced her to nine years in prison for “conducting propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.” After a court rejected her appeal in August 2022, Trang was transferred to An Phuoc Prison in Vietnam’s southern Binh Duong Province, a remote facility located 100 kilometers away from Ho Chi Minh City. Trang’s health has declined during her detention, and authorities have denied her access to medical treatment.  

A prolific author, blogger and journalist, Trang has published several books about democracy, including A Handbook for Freedom Fighters and Politics of a Police State, and has repeatedly criticized the Vietnamese Communist Party and government. She also co-founded Luật Khoa, an online magazine on law and human rights, and served as an editor for The Vietnamese, an independent news website covering political issues. Trang resigned from the Liberal Publishing House in July 2020, citing security threats. Trang faced harassment by Vietnamese authorities multiple times since 2015, including being beaten by security forces during an environmental protest in Hanoi in April 2015, causing Trang to have a permanent limp.

Despite persistent harassment from Vietnamese authorities, Trang continued to courageously write and advocate for democracy in Vietnam. In 2019, anticipating her arrest, Trang wrote a letter and recorded a video message calling on the public to continue to fight for democratic reform and the release of prisoners of conscience. She wrote, “I don’t want freedom for just myself; that’s too easy. / I want something greater: freedom for Vietnam. / It might seem like some grand goal, but it’s totally possible—with your support.”

For more information on Trang’s case click here