2014: A Recap of the Year’s Events and The 88 Project’s Work

This year has been one of growth for us here at The 88 Project, and we couldn’t have done our work without you. Thank you for supporting us.

This year has brought news of arrests, beatings, and harassment, as well as a few spots of progress in the struggle for freedom of expression in Vietnam. Take a moment to review the year with us as we recap the headlines from 2014 and some of our work from the year.

Stay tuned for new and continuing projects alike in 2015 as we continue to share the stories of courageous and inspiring activists. We wish you a bright and beautiful New Year!

2014 Headlines from The 88 Project’s Timeline in the Struggle for Freedom of Expression in Vietnam

February 11, 2014: Bui Thi Minh Hang, Nguyen Van Minh, and Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh are detained in a violent raid; others detained are later released, but these three remain in detention

February 18, 2014: Le Quoc Quan’s two-and-a-half year sentence is upheld at his appellate trial

March 2, 2014: Dinh Dang Dinh and Nguyen Huu Cau are released from prison due to health issues; Nguyen Huu Cau had served over three decades in prison (out of a life sentence served for the themes of his poetry)

March 4, 2014: Truong Duy Nhat is sentenced to two years in prison

March 19, 2014: Pham Viet Dao is sentenced to fifteen months in prison

Spring 2014: Blogger Anh Ba Sam (Nguyen Huu Vinh) and his assistant are detained

April 3, 2014: Dinh Dang Dinh, 50, dies of stomach cancer just one month after his release from prison

April 5, 2014: Cu Huy Ha Vu is released early from prison and arrives in the United States two days later

April 12, 2014: Nguyen Tien Trung and Vu Duc Hoi are released early from prison and go on to serve three years of probation

May 5, 2014: Writers Nguyen Huu Vinh and Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy are arrested under Article 258 of Vietnam’s Penal Code

June 20, 2014: The UN Human Rights Council upholds Vietnam’s appointment to the UN Human Right Council, despite Vietnam’s implementation of only 182 of 227 recommendations made by the Council to improve human rights in Vietnam

June 26, 2014: Truong Duy Nhat’s appeal over his two-year sentence is denied

June 26, 2014: Labor rights activist Do Thi Minh Hanh is released from prison, while colleagues Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung and Doan Huy Chuong remain in prison

July 4, 2014: The Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam is formed

July 21-31, 2014: UN religious expert surveys freedom of religion in Vietnam and is blocked from meeting with several groups and individuals

July 29, 2014: Thirty-five members of the US Congress send a letter to President Obama urging for human rights to be considered in any prospective trade agreement with Vietnam

August 26, 2014: Bui Thi Minh Hang, Nguyen Van Minh, and Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh are sentenced to 3.5, 2.5 and 2 years, respectively

September 11, 2014: Writer Nguyen Xuan Nghia is released from prison after finishing out his six-year sentence

September 13, 2014: Blogger and ex-government employee, Pham Viet Dao, is released from prison

September 27, 2014: Former lawmaker Le Van Tinh is released from prison after completing most of a 20-year sentence, much of which was spent in solitary confinement

October 2, 2014: US partially lifts ban on weapons sales to Vietnam

October 2, 2014: Catholic activist Dau Van Duong is released from prison at the end of his three-year sentence; he nearly died from a beating while detained

October 21, 2014: Blogger Nguyen Van Hai (Dieu Cay) is released from prison and sent immediately to the United States

October 21, 2014: US Senators urge President Obama to reconsider the human rights aspect of easing US weapons sales to Vietnam

November 22, 2014: The 88 Project releases “5844 Days in Prison,” a video in honor of Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, ahead of his birthday on November 29th

November 29, 2014: People around the world celebrate the birthday of Tran Huynh Duy Thuc and call for his release. The 88 Project released a video, in collaboration with Thuc’s family, that has been viewed over 1500 times. In addition, Huong Nguyen, a contributor to and co-founder of The 88 Project, wrote a guest blog for Amnesty International about Thuc’s case. An Amnesty International group in France also planned activities in honor of Thuc, and many people expressed their support of Thuc on social media with pictures and messages of solidarity.

November 29, 2014: Blogger Hong Le Tho, 65, is detained for posting “bad content”

December 4, 2014: Freedom House releases its Freedom on the Net 2014 report, finds that Vietnam is “Not Free”

December 6, 2014: Well-known writer Nguyen Quang Lap is detained for his blog posts

December 10, 2014: Ted Osius is sworn in as US Ambassador to Vietnam

December 12, 2014: Appeal of Bui Thi Minh Hang, Nguyen Van Minh, and Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh is denied and their original sentences are upheld; the three human rights defenders were originally tried in August of 2014

December 17, 2014: December 17, 2014: The Committee Protect Journalists names Vietnam as the country with the 5th highest amount of imprisoned journalists in the world

December 27, 2014: Blogger Nguyen Dinh Ngoc (Nguyen Ngoc Gia) is arrested, marking the third arrest of Vietnamese bloggers in less than one month

 


Reflecting on Our Work:

In 2014 (with the help of all of you!), …

  • We helped introduce the world to the case of Tran Huynh Duy Thuc
  • We started the tradition of biweekly human rights news recaps
  • We participated in both Blog Actin Day and Human Rights Day
  • We reported on arrests, trials, civil society actions, and political events
  • We had 2,980 website views from over 1,400 visitors
  • We had over 1,500 views of the short film 5844 Days in Prison: Tran Huynh Duy Thuc
  • We also listed 100 events in a timeline of the struggle for freedom of expression in Vietnam
  • We received website views from over 75 different countries
  • We published 26 blog posts, covering a wide range of topics

 

We are currently seeking volunteers– with all kinds of skills– to work with us in 2015. If you want to volunteer, we will work with you to match our projects to your talents and interests. To get more involved with The 88 Project, e-mail us at the88project.mail@gmail.com.

Thanks again for your work in 2014, and we look forward to working with you in the New Year as well.

 

Follow us on Twitter @The88Project

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