Tag Archives: Pham Thanh Nghien

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


Catholic activist Dang Xuan Dieu, in an undated photo. Source: RFA

RFA January 13, 2017: Vietnamese authorities released one dissident from jail this week as they exiled the former political prisoner to France, but at the same time they blocked another well-known dissident from leaving the country.

Dang Xuan Dieu, a blogger, community organizer and a member of the outlawed Viet Tan organization, was released late Thursday and deported to Paris after serving six years of a 13-year prison term, according to family members and his international attorney. Read More

Pham Thanh Nghien – Life in Detention of Female Prisoners:

© 2013 The 88 Project – Free Expression Interview Series

(Bản tiếng Việt ở dưới)

Pham Thanh Nghien – Life in Detention of Female Prisoners:

Female prisoners: hygiene conditions

Only when I myself was imprisoned did I really see how different it was from what I’d imagined.  I didn’t have to—or didn’t have the opportunity to—witness prison officers torturing inmates or any similar acts. But I’d heard stories like investigators and prison officers committing torture. Some women had been so brutally beaten that their pregnancy ended in miscarriage. Some had been tortured and had their ribs broken. However these were only anecdotes from some of the inmates in our prison.

I myself didn’t see such things happen. Still, I witnessed and experienced other forms of violence, which were non-physical but equally destructive. It was the act of psychological abuse. Prison was the wost place of psychological abuse through which I’d ever lived. Read More

Pham Thanh Nghien – Over the period of about four months, I was detained in a special jail cell. I share the jail cell with a female prisoner, and we both estimated that its surface was less than 6m2. The only thing that helped us to forget about being in a box were six air holes, this small. Every day, we had to look through those six air holes in order to feel closer to the outside world. For me, it was the most difficult time of my life in detention. Read More