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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!

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Activists in Hanoi meet on Feb 17 to mark the 38th military invasion of China in Vietnam’s northern region. Source: vietnamhumanrightsdefenders.net

Defend the Defenders, February 17, 2017: On February 17, Vietnam’s security forces in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh violently dispersed the peaceful gatherings of local activists who want to mark the 38th anniversary of China’s invasion of the country’s six northernmost provinces.

Hundreds of after activists gathered in Ly Thai To King memorial in Hanoi and General Tran Hung Dao memorial in HCM City to commemorate the thousands of fallen soldiers and civilians killed by the People’s Liberation Army of China during the one-month military invasion which started on February 17, 1979.

Authorities in Hanoi and HCM City deployed a large number of police officers, plainclothes agents and militia to the two places. Shortly after activists came, security forces demanded them to leave the areas, saying they cause social disorders.

A number of activists, including Nguyen Thi Kim Chi in HCM City and Nguyen Xuan Dien, Nguyen Lan Thang, Bach Hong Quyen, blogger Trung Nguyen, Dang Bich Phuong and Le My Hanh were detained by police. Read More

Writer Nguyen Ngoc, Chair of the Committee to Promote the Founding of the League of Independent Vietnamese Writers, at the award ceremony

Writer Nguyen Ngoc, Chair of the Committee to Promote the Founding of the League of Independent Vietnamese Writers, at the award ceremony

The League of Independent Vietnamese Writers (LIVW) announced its very first Vietnamese Literary Awards on March 3, 2016 – International Writers’ Day. Members, supporters and sponsors of the LIVW gathered at poet Y Nhi’s house in the suburb of Ho Chi Minh city to announce and deliver the awards, as the owner of the anticipated venue in the city had withdrawn permission under the pressure of the cultural police. The authorities also succeeded in preventing several prominent writers and intellectuals such as poet Do Trung Quan, poet Bui Chat, writer Le Phu Khai, and Professor Nguyen Dang Hung from attending the event.

Six awards were announced during the meeting. Among them, deceased writer Bui Ngoc Tan won the special award for best prose. The young poet Nguyen Hoang Anh Thu received the official award for best poetry, and the young writer Di-Hanh Nguyen won the official best prose award. Read More