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Female Activists

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POC Nguyễn Đặng Minh Mẫn. Source: IJAVN

The 88 Project, March 13, 2017: “My daughter Minh Mẫn was beaten and wounded in prison, and she was held in solitary confinement in a stinky cell for 10 days.” Mrs. Đặng Ngọc Minh, mother of Minh Mẫn, shared in an interview with SBTN.

On March 12, 2017, on her Facebook, Mrs. Đặng Ngọc Minh wrote that Ms. Nguyễn Đặng Minh Mẫn was assaulted by another prisoner named Lan inside the prison; then the prison ward ordered Minh Mẫn to be sent to solitary confinement for 10 days.

Mrs. Đặng Ngọc Minh said: “In the visit on March 12, 2017, my husband called from Prison No. 5, Thanh Hóa province, to let me know that my daughter had been beaten, and she just got out from the disciplinary cell and looked thin and weak because of the harsh treatment she had received.”

Mr. Nguyễn Văn Lợi, father of Minh Mẫn, related: “When I saw Mẫn, Mẫn started telling me about the assault, then the officer interrupted and threatened to end our visit. She had been held in a dirty cell with a poor nutrition regime.” Read More

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Greetings from Huong, Ella, and Kaylee from The 88 Project! We are bringing to you news, analysis, and actions regarding human rights and civil society in Vietnam during the week of March 6-12, 2017. The biggest story of the week was of course International Women’s Day. We are incredibly thrilled about the particular attention given to female activists and prisoners of conscience in Vietnam from international human rights organizations, Vietnamese activists, and civil society organizations everywhere. For our part, we added our voice to those of Vietnamese female activists in demanding the right to adequate and free access to hygiene products for all female prisoners. Also in the news: protests, environmental activism, police brutality, reports from Vietnamese human rights defenders, the Vietnam Cyber Dialogue, and the second award ceremony of the League of Independent Vietnamese writers. Please do check out the Take Action section and sign PEN America’s open letter on behalf of bloggers Nguyễn Hữu Vinh and Nguyễn Thị Minh Thúy.

If you have any feedback for us or want us to include announcements and/or articles from you/your organization, please email us at the88project.mail@gmail.com. To stay informed and keep the conversation going during the week, follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

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Female prisoners Standbyher graphicThe 88 Project, March 8, 2017: Blogger Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh, the well-known human rights defender who has been held incommunicado since October 2016, wrote a note to her mother on the margin of a supply receipt form dated January 1, 2017: “I’ve received everything you sent. I also need shampoo, toothpaste, hygiene pads, and candies.” Yet, as of March 2017, according to fellow female activists who are close to her family, Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh’s mother has not been able to send her the feminine pads she asked for.

Hygiene pads are not commonly distributed to the women in jail in Vietnam. Former prisoner of conscience Phạm Thanh Nghiên, in our interview with her in 2013, told the story of the struggle of female prisoners to receive adequate menstrual products. While Nghiên was able to receive what she needed from her family, other women had to ask for free feminine pads from their cellmates, or work in the prison to earn money to buy pads from the prison facilities at a much higher price than in the common market. It seems that the distribution of hygiene pads to women prisoners is left to the discretion of specific prison authorities. Some authorities allow the families to send pads, some don’t. Some distribute only cheap, thin, and non-absorbent pads. Some require the women to buy them from the prison’s facilities at an expensive price. Read More

88-project-logoThe 88 Project, March 5, 2017: Greetings! We are excited to bring to you our very first weekly Vietnam Free Expression Newsletter, covering news and analysis regarding human rights and the development of civil society in Vietnam. Our take-away for this week: two new arrests; violence against dissidents and activists is on the rise, despite the lower number of arrests; issues of press freedom and labor rights are always matters of concern. Also, in the spirit of International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting some information on Vietnamese female activists and the political participation of women in Vietnam. Finally, yet importantly, please take some time to take action for current prisoners of conscience Đinh Nguyên Kha and Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh (Mẹ Nấm). More details and links below.

If you have any feedback for us or want us to include announcements and/or articles from you/your organization, please email us at the88project.mail@gmail.com. To stay informed and keep the conversation going during the week, follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

Click to Subscribe to our Newsletter! Read More

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Blogger Mẹ Nấm

The 88 Project, February 24, 2017: Blogger Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh – Mẹ Nấm’s temporary detention was extended for another three months, yet her family did not receive any written notice. Ms. Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Lan, Mẹ Nấm’s mother, told VOA on February 23 that Khánh Hòa province’s People’s Procuracy had signed a temporary detention extension order for her daughter on January 13, but she has not yet seen the written document. All notices thus far have been given to her “verbally.” She told VOA Vietnamese:

“According to the four-month temporary detention order, February 10 should have been the last day of the detention. On February 14, hearing nothing from the authorities, I filed an inquiry. On February 21, they invited me to come to meet with them and said they had the right to extend the detention for another three months. The officer who invited me was Captain Ngô Xuân Phong. He read to me the order signed on January 13 that extended the temporary detention from February 7 to May 7, meaning for three more months. I asked why they had not notified the family. He said they had notified the temporary detainee only.” Read More

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Can Thi Theu at her trial. Source: Facebook Trinh Ba Phuong

The 88 Project, January 25, 2017: Ms. Can Thi Theu is a land rights activist from Duong Noi who was sentenced to 20 months of imprisonment in September 2016 for “disturbing public order.” In fact, she is a leading figure in the fight against land seizures and inadequate compensation of the farmers of Duong Noi. Forced evictions of farmers from their fertile lands in order to build industrial and recreational zones have been the cause of social miseries for farmers everywhere in Vietnam. Can Thi Theu’s story and the context of land confiscation in Vietnam are told in this bilingual video produced by artist Kim Chi, Hélèna Lee and friends:

Can Thi Theu’s imprisonment sentence was upheld at the appeal trial on November 30, 2016. Shortly thereafter, she was transferred from Hoa Lo prison in Hanoi to Gia Trung prison in Gia Lai, a thousand kilometers away from home. Can Thi Theu wrote a letter addressed to “landless farmers and communities at home and abroad” from Gia Trung prison on December 20, 2016. We translated and published the letter here, with the consent of her family, to share her voice with those around the world who care about her situation. Read More

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Paulo, seen here with his wife (activist Trinh Kim Tien) and child, was arrested and then beaten up by unidentified men. Source: Vietnam Right Now

Vietnam Right Now, Jan. 17, 2017: It started as a class for young would-be activists eager to learn about their political rights, and ended a few weeks later with a police raid and vicious assaults on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. The violent attacks just before Christmas highlighted the perils of standing up for human rights and democratic freedoms in Vietnam’s one party state, where government critics are routinely subjected to intimidation and arrest. Doan Trang sent this report on how one group of independent minded young people incurred the wrath of the national security establishment.

When Hanah (her name has been changed to protect her identity) joined the class, she didn’t expect that a few weeks later she would be sitting in a chair being interrogated by a group of policemen and then be kicked to the ground and stomped on by a gang of toughs.

In her early twenties, Hanah came to Ho Chi Minh City from the countryside and took a job as a hairdresser’s apprentice. She saw few other prospects in the city, as she came from a poor family and had quit school at 16.

She became interested in politics and society when she joined thousands who took to the streets to demand answers over the government’s handling of a major environmental disaster off the north-central coast last April and May.

As a practicing Catholic and someone with a fast developing social conscience, she was appalled by the aggressive and brazen way in which police broke up the demonstrations in Ho Chi Minh City and elsewhere. Read More