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Timeline of Events in the Struggle for Freedom of Expression in Vietnam

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Political Events

Civil Society Events


Please pardon our work while we add in our sources and more dates to the timeline; it is in a continuous state of improvement, and we welcome any contributions of information. This list is not exhaustive, and we remember each day those whose stories are unknown. 

Please contact us with questions or comments at

The struggle for freedom of expression in Vietnam is generally thought to have begun in the 1950s with the Nhan Van Giai Pham movement.


1976: Doan Viet Hoat is detained and held without trial for twelve years; he shares cell with 40 others

1978-1988: Doctor Nguyen Dan Que serves ten years in prison for his criticism of the state and for the founding of a civil society organization


May 1983-July 1992: Catholic priest, Father Nguyen Van Ly, is jailed for “destroying the people’s unity” (he also served a year in prison from 1977-1978)

May 1983: Nguyen Huu Cau is sentenced to life in prison for his poetry pertaining to abusive power and corruption

February 1989: Doan Viet Hoat is released from 12-year detention


1990: Doan Viet Hoat is detained again

June 14, 1990: Nguyen Dan Que is arrested again after forming a new, non-violent group and calling for people to sign a petition for change in Vietnam

1991: Activist/writer Duong Thu Huong spends eight months in prison after previously being kicked out of the Communist Party; her books are banned in Vietnam

November 29, 1991: Nguyen Dan Que is sentenced to 20 years, accused of attempting to “overthrow” the government; he is also punished for his ties to Amnesty International

April 25, 1992: Businessman and engineer Nguyen Si Binh is arrested, along with 16 others, for his supposed involvement in attempts to subvert the government

March 1993: Doan Viet Hoat is sentenced to twenty years and spends 4.5 years in solitary confinement

September 1998:  Nguyen Dan Que, Doan Viet Hoat, and others are released under amnesty for Vietnam’s National Day— Doan Viet Hoat moves to the US, and Nguyen Dan Que is asked to leave Vietnam, but refuses


May 17, 2001: Father Nguyen Van Ly is arrested again after giving testimony to the US about freedom of religion in Vietnam

October 19, 2001: Father Nguyen Van Ly is sentenced to 15 years in prison and five years of house arrest

March 17, 2003: Nguyen Dan Que is arrested again

January 29, 2004: Nguyen Dan Que is sentenced to 30 months in prison, after a corrupt trial, for “abusing democratic rights to jeopardize the interests of the state”

Early 2005: Vietnam announces that Nguyen Dan Que, Father Nguyen Van Ly, Nguyen Dinh Huy, and Huynh Van Ba will be released on amnesty

February 18, 2007: Father Nguyen Van Ly is arrested again for calling for an election boycott

March 30, 2007: Father Nguyen Van Ly is sentenced to eight years in prison under Article 88 for trying to organize a boycott of the nearing election and for allegedly harming national security; he has three strokes while in prison and lacks access to proper medical care

April 20, 2008: Nguyen Van Hai (Dieu Cay) is arrested; he is known for his association with the Independent Journalists’ Club (founded 2007) and for his anti-China protests

September 18, 2008: Pham Thanh Nghien is arrested under Article 88 for her pro-democracy activities

May 24, 2009: Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, businessman and economist, is arrested

Summer 2009: Nguyen Tien Trung, Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, Le Cong Dinh, Tran Anh Kim, and Le Thang Long are all arrested

December 2009: Former Vietnamese military officer Tran Anh Kim is convicted of subversion and is sentenced to five and a half years


January 20, 2010: Tran Huynh Duy Thuc is sentenced to prison for 16 years (with five years of house arrest) under Articles 79 and 88 of Vietnam’s Penal Code. Nguyen Tien Trung is sentenced to seven years. Le Cong Dinh and Le Thang Long are sentenced to five years each.

February 2010: Labor rights activists Do Thi Minh Hanh, Doan Huy Chuong, and Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung are detained after organizing workers at a shoe factory

March 17, 2010: Father Nguyen Van Ly is temporarily released from prison to receive medical care after a reported stroke(s) suffered in prison

July 2010: Land rights activists Pham Van Thong is arrested (see entry for May 30, 2011 for more information)

August 2010: Land rights activists Duong Kim Khai and Tran Thi Thuy are arrested (see entry for May 30, 2011 for more information)

October 2010: Phan Thanh Hai (Anhbasg) is arrested on charges of distributing anti-state information

October 2010: Do Thi Minh Hanh, Doan Huy Chuong, and Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung are indicted under Article 89 of Vietnam’s Penal Code for “disrupting national security” and are sentenced to seven, seven, and nine years in prison, respectively.

November 2010: Cu Huy Ha Vu is arrested


January 29, 2011: Pham Thanh Nghien is sentenced to four years in prison, with three years of probation

February 2011: Nguyen Dan Que is once again arrested, this time for having documents allegedly calling for an “overthrow” of the repressive regime; he is currently in prison

February 2011: Land rights activists Cao Van Tinh is arrested (see entry for May 30, 2011 for more information)

April 4, 2011: Cu Huy Ha Vu is convicted of propaganda against the state and sentenced to seven years in prison and three years of house arrest

May 30, 2011:  Seven land rights activists are tried under Article 79 of Vietnam’s Penal Code for “activities aimed at overthrowing” the government. They receive sentences ranging from four to eight years. Later in 2011, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declares that their detentions were indeed arbitrary.

Mid-2011: A string of arrests leads to 17 activists being charged under Articles 79 or 88; the activists go to trial in September of 2012

July 25, 2011: Father Nguyen Van Ly is returned to prison after receiving medical parole in 2010

September 5, 2011: Ta Phong Tan, former police officer, is arrested for her blog posts citing government corruption

October 2011: Dinh Dang Dinh, teacher and former military officer is arrested under Article 88 of Vietnam’s Penal Code


February 2012: Twenty-two members of a peaceful, religious environmental group are arrested

July 16, 2012: Three land rights activists are tried under Article 88 of Vietnam’s Penal Code for “propaganda.” They had led peaceful protests, complained about corruption concerning land, and were accused of distributing information and encouraging people to participate in anti-China protests. Dinh Van Nhuong and Do Van Hoa receive four years each (and three years house arrest), and Nguyen Kim Nhan receives 5.5 yeas (and four years house arrest).

July 30, 2012:  Ta Phong Tan’s mother, Dang Thi Kim Lieng, dies after setting herself on fire to protest her daughter’s unjust imprisonment

August 2012: Tran Quoc Hien flees to Thailand looking for asylum after being released from a five-year sentence for organizing a farmers’ protest in 2006

August 8, 2012: Dinh Dang Dinh is sentenced to six years in prison under Article 88

August 11, 2012: Blogger Le Thanh Tung is sentenced under Article 88 to five years in prison and four years of house arrest 

September 24, 2012: Nguyen Van Hai (Dieu Cay) is sentenced to 12 years in prison and five years probation for “anti-state propaganda” (he was originally sentenced to 30 months on charges of tax evasion back in 2009 before being charged with this new charge). Ta Phong Tan is sentenced to 10 years in prison with three years of probation. Phan Thanh Hai is sentenced to four years in prison with three years probation.

September 26, 2012: Seventeen activists, mostly Catholics, arrested in 2011, face trial. Three are tried under Article 88 for conducting propaganda against the state. Chu Manh Son, who participated in anti-China protests, receives three years, reduced to 2.5 on appeal (and one year house arrest). Dau Van Duong and Tran Huu Duc, who also protested China, as well as supported dissident Cu Huy Ha Vu, receive 3.5 years (and 18 months house arrest) and three years and three months (and one year house arrest), respectively. The other fourteen activists are tried under Article 79 and are accused of having ties with peaceful, pro-democracy organization Viet Tan. Dang Ngoc Minh, Dang Xuan Dieu, Ho Duc Hoa, Ho Van Oanh, Nguyen Dang Minh Man, Nguyen Dinh Cuong, Nguyen Van Duyet, Nguyen Van Oai, Nong Hung Anh, Paulus Le Van Son, Thai Van Dung, Tran Minh Nhat, Nguyen Vinh Phuc Dang, and Nguyen Xuan Anh receive sentences ranging from three years to thirteen years.

November 8, 2012: Government Decree 92 makes religious recognition requirements stricter for organizations in Vietnam

November 24, 2012: First blog post posted on

December 27, 2012: Le Quoc Quan is arrested for tax evasion (he was also jailed for three months in 2007, disbarred in 2008, and attacked by police earlier in 2012)

December 28, 2012: Nguyen Van Hai (Dieu Cay), Ta Phong Tan, and Phan Thanh Hai’s appeal is denied


January 9, 2013: Fourteen bloggers, writers, and activists are convicted under Article 79 of Vietnam’s Penal Code and sentenced to between three and 13 years in prison (they were originally arrested in 2011); among those convicted were Ho Duc Hoa, Paulus Le Van Son, Dang Xuan Dieu, Nguyen Van Duyet, and Nong Hung Anh

January 28, 2013: The twenty-two members of a religious environmental group, arrested in February of 2012, are tried under Article 79 of Vietnam’s Penal Code. They receive sentences ranging from a minimum of 10 years to life in prison (for the founder).

February 18, 2013: 88: The Repression of Cyber Dissidents, the documentary, is released

May 5, 2013: Peaceful, human rights picnics are met with violence and arrests in Vietnam

May 16, 2013: Students Nguyen Kha and Phuong Uyen are sentenced to eight and six years in prison under Article 88 of Vietnam’s Penal Code for distributing information about the Vietnam-China South China Sea conflict

May 26, 2013: Truong Duy Nhat, blogger, is arrested under Article 258 of Vietnam’s Penal Code for “abusing democratic freedoms”

May 27, 2013: Cu Huy Ha Vu starts a hunger strike in prison that lasts until June 21, 2013 (Dieu Cay also led a five-week hunger strike in the summer of 2013, protesting treatment and conditions in prison)

June 13, 2013: Blogger Pham Viet Dao is arrested under Article 258 of Vietnam’s Penal Code

June 15, 2013: Dinh Nhat Uy is arrested (he is the brother of student Dinh Nguyen Kha, who was sentenced in May of 2013)

July 15, 2013: Decree 72, from the Vietnamese government, is adopted, placing even more rigid restrictions in Internet usage in Vietnam

September 1, 2013: Decree 72 goes into effect in Vietnam, further restricting Internet usage in Vietnam

September 1, 2013: Phan Thanh Hai is released from prison and is now currently under house arrest

October 29, 2013: Dinh Nhat Uy receives a 15-month suspended sentence

November 12, 2013: Vietnam is elected to seat on the UN Human Rights Council amidst international protests

December 10, 2013: Network of Vietnamese Bloggers launched to coincide with the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

December 10, 2013: Forty-seven members of the US Congress send a letter to then-Secretary of State John Kerry, urging him to consider human rights violations during his visit with the Vietnamese Prime Minister


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 remained 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 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 (without formal charges pressed)

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: 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: 35 members of the US Congress send 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 following completion of his 15-month sentence

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 human rights in 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

Late 2014: The US Commission on International Religious Freedom’s 2014 Annual Report finds that Vietnam has a long way to go in guaranteeing religious freedom for all


January 7, 2015: Tran Anh Kim, former military officer, is released from prison after serving 5.5 years for his pro-democracy work

January 7, 2015: Newspaper Nguoi Cao Tuoi has its license taken away for its coverage of corruption; the editor, Kim Quoc Hoa, is targeted by authorities

February 10, 2015: Nguyen Quang Lap is released due to his medical condition, remains under house arrest and under investigation

February 11, 2015: Hong Le Tho is released and put under house arrest due to medical reasons; he remains under observation by the authorities

February 12, 2015: Bloggers Le Thi Phuong Anh, Do Nam Trung, and Pham Vinh Vu are sentenced under Article 258 (“abusing democratic freedoms”) to 12, 14, and 18 months in prison, respectively, for their association with anti-China protests

March 2015: Freedom House releases “Freedom in the World 2015” report, rates Vietnam as “Not Free,” with 6/7 freedom score (7 being the worst score), and 5/7 score for civil liberties and 7/7 for political rights

March 2015: US Commission on International Religious Freedom releases 2014 Report on Vietnam, deeming it a “country of particular concern” in regards to religious freedom

April 2015: Mai Thi Dung is released from prison after serving 6 and 5-year sentences for her work towards freedom of religion in Vietnam

April 2, 2015: Bui Thi Minh Hang starts hunger strike in prison, protesting her treatment, as other inmates have been encouraged to harass her

April 30, 2015: Bipartisan group of US representatives introduces a bill that would make certain assistance to Vietnam contingent on respect for human rights

Mid-May 2015: Prisoner of conscience Pham Thi Loc, arrested 2011, was released from prison, and reported back on the poor health of her cellmates, Ta Phong Tan, Can Thi Theu, and Nguyen Dang Minh Man

May 13, 2015: Ta Phong Tan, imprisoned blogger, begins hunger strike, protesting the cruel treatment of prisoners (she ended the strike on June 4th).

May 13, 2015: Kim Quoc Hoa, former editor of a newspaper, was charged under Article 258 for his work revealing corruption in one-party Vietnam

May 15, 2015: Le Thi Phuong Anh, activist arrested under Article 258, was released after spending one year in prison

May 26, 2015: Blogger Truong Duy Nhat is released from prison after serving two years under Article 258

May 28, 2015: 15 members of the U.S. Congress sent a letter to Vietnam’s President and Prime Minister calling on Vietnam to release 28 political prisoners, including Tran Huynh Duy Thuc

June 2015: Human rights lawyer Le Quoc Quan finished his 30-month sentence for “tax evasion”

June 2015: Former prisoner of conscience Pham Thanh Nghien is assailed by police

July 1, 2015: Journalist Le Thanh Tung released a year early from prison after serving time under Article 88

 July 13, 2015: A 54-year-old women in Vietnam obtained serious bulldozer injuries after partaking in a land rights protest

July 20, 2015: A 45-year-old Vietnamese man died while in a detention center, allegedly beaten to death

July 2015: Activists were beaten at a hunger strike protest calling for the release of political prisoners

September 2015: Blogger and former police officer Ta Phong Tan released early from her 10-year sentence, is sent into exile in he U.S.

September 2015: Bui Thi Minh Hang adopted under Ambassdor Power’s #Freethe20 initiative

November 8, 2015: Two activists beaten and detained while travelling

December 14, 2015: Nguyen Viet Dung sentenced to 15 months

December 16, 2015: Nguyen Van Dai arrested, a week and a half after being beaten

December 25, 2015: Hoang Duc Binh, Do Thi Minh Hanh, and other labor rights activists attacked by police in Ho Chi Minh City 


January 12, 2016: 30 detained in land rights protest in Hanoi 

January 15, 2016: human rights activist Ho Thi Bich Khuong released after five-year sentence, finds land and home taken away by government 

February 2016: Bui Thi Minh Hang denied medical care in prison 

March 11, 2016: Collective hunger strike started by imprisoned activists 

March 23, 2016: Website blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh (Anh Ba Sam) and coworker Nguyen Thi Minh sentenced to five and three years under Article 258 

March 24, 2016: Dinh Tat Thang sentenced to over seven months under Article 258 for speaking out against corruption 

March 30, 2016: Land rights activists Ngo Thi Minh Uoc, Nguyen Thi Be Hai, and Nguyen Thi Tri sentenced to four, three, and three years with two-three years probation under Article 88 

March 30, 2016: Blogger Nguyen Dinh Ngoc sentenced to four years plus three of probation 

April 28, 2016: Truong Minh Tam jailed for six days for speaking out on mass fish dieoff 

May 20, 2016: Long-term, multiple times POC Father Nguyen Van Ly released from prison 

May 22, 2016: US President Obama visited Vietnam, ends US weapons sale ban shortly thereafter 

May 24, 2016: Tran Huynh Duy Thuc began hunger strike in prison 

June 5, 2016: Protesters gathered over fish dieoffs taken out of Hanoi by buses 

July 14, 2016: Ede minority protesters violently treated, some detained 

August 17, 2016: Massive gathering of protesters concerned with fish deaths and Formosa attacked and movement restricted 

November 2, 2016: Blogger Ho Van Hai arrested 

November 30, 2016: Sentence of 20 months upheld for land rights activist Can Thi Theu 

December 16, 2016: Tran Anh Kim and Le Thanh Tung sentenced to 13 and 12 years 

December 18, 2016: Blogger Nguyen Danh Dung arrested under Article 258 

December 20, 2016: Former POC Pham Van Troi’s house attacked 

December 26, 2016: Sentence of three years upheld in the case of Nguyen Huu Quoc Du 

December 26, 2016: Young organizer Nguyen Ho Nhat abducted and hurt by plainclothes police 

December 28, 2016: Human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai’s prison term is extended 


Early January 2017: Pham Dang Toan dies after police chase under unclear circumstances; coroner attributes death to “lack of oxygen” 

January 5, 2017: Human rights lawyer’s home is vandalized 

January 12, 2017: Catholic activist Dang Xuan Dieu released after six years, forced exile to France 

January 13, 2017: Activists barred from meeting with US diplomat John Kerry 

Mid January 2017: Former POC Pham Thanh Nghien travel restricted 

January 23, 2017: Four activists, including former POC Nguyen Van Oai, arrested (Tran Thi Nga- labor rights, Nguyen Van Hoa- Article 258, Formosa protests,  Nguyen Thi Mien) 

February 10, 2017: Bui Thi Minh Hang released after three years 

February 17, 2017: Mass peaceful protest recognizing anniversary of Chinese invasion in northern Vietnam violently ended 

February 24, 2017: Blogger Me Nam’s detention extended three months without written notice 

February 27, 2017: Pastor and activist Nguyen Trinh Ton and friend Nguyen Viet Tu abducted and physically harmed 

February 28, 2017: Former POCs Pham Thanh Nghien and Huynh Anh Tu attacked while visiting fellow former POC 

March 2017: Me Nam held in solitary confinement, beaten, in a prison with notorious treatment of female POCs

March 3, 2017: Vu Quang Thuan (Vo Phu Dong) and Nguyen Van Dien (Dien Ai Quoc) arrested for YouTube videos 

March 6, 2017: US State Department released 2016 Country Report on Vietnam, highlighting continued human rights abuses

March 2017: Imprisoned blogger Me Nam named one of 13 International Women of Courage by US State Department, unable to receive her recognition in person

March 2017: Former POC and blogger Pham Thanh Nghien  announced as a finalist for the 2017 Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk from Front Line Defenders 

March 15, 2017: Police clash with those remembering Spratly massacre

March 17, 2017: Blogger Bui Hieu Vo arrested under Article 88

March 21, 2017: Blogger Phan Kim Khanh arrested under Article 88 

March 21, 2017: Police violently disperse Formosa compensation protest

April 2017: The German Association of Judges awards lawyer Nguyen Van Dai, held in pre-trial detention under Article 88 since 2015, their 2017 human rights award

April 2017: Vietnamese Security Ministry proposes draft bill banning use of audio and video recording devices as a matter of “national security,” in a move questioned by activists

April 2017: Vietnamese authorities still have not brought Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thu Ha to trial after holding them in pre-trial detention for 16 months, the max investigation time permitted 

April 6, 2017: Government announces blogger Nguyen Van Hoa will be prosecuted under Article 258 (“abusing democratic freedoms”), after his arrest in January 2017

April 6, 2017: One-year anniversary of Formosa disaster met with protests and police resistance

April 11, 2017: Amnesty International releases “Death Sentences and Executions 2016,” revealing that 429 people were executed under the death penalty in Vietnam from August 2013-June 2016.

April 15, 2017: Land rights activists attacked and 15 deceived into unlawful arrests 

Late April 2017: Land rights disputes lead to violence, protests, arrests, and a hostage situation in Vietnam

April 26, 2017: Reporters Without Borders releases 2017 World Press Freedom Index, with Vietnam’s position at 175/180, unchanged from 2016  

April 26, 2017: The US Committee on International Religious Freedom releases its 2017 Annual Report, recommending Vietnam be designated as a Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern

April 26, 2017: After a proposed ban on the use of hidden audio and video recording devices, the Vietnamese Justice Ministry affirmed people’s rights to use hidden recording devices; the Ministry of Public Security then decided to withdraw the controversial  proposal

May 2, 2017: Female environmental activist Le My Hanh and friends attacked in filmed assault at private residence 

May 5, 2017: Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy released from prison after serving three year sentence 

May 11, 2017: Activist Tran Thi Nga sees lawyer for first time since January 21, 2017 arrest. She is reportedly in poor health and has been charged under Article 88 

May 12, 2017: Police issue nationwide wanted notice for Bach Hong Quyen under Article 245 (“disturbing public order”) for role in recent protest

May 15, 2017: Environmental and labor rights activist Hoang Duc Binh arrested in a violent spectacle, charged under Article 257 and 258

May 17, 2017: Vietnamese government decides to start process to take away professor and former POC Pham Minh Hoang’s citizenship

May 18, 2017: Buddhist follower Vuong Van Tha and family arrested

May 21, 2017: Catholic singer Tran Vu Anh Binh released from prison four months ahead of end of six year sentence

May 26, 2017: Appeals court upholds 12 and 13-year sentences for ex-soldier Le Thanh Tung and retired Lt. Colonel Tran Anh Kim

June 2, 2017: Blogger Me Nam, at the end of her investigation period in in pre-trial detention, sends letter to request beginning of her defense, signaling a possible trial in the near future

June 7, 2017: Vandals pelt rocks at church with ties to anti-Formosa movement

June 8, 2017: Thugs threaten former POC Le Quoc Quan and his family at their home

June 8, 2017: Blogger and activist Nguyen Dang Vu was taken and held for 31 hours by police

June 20, 2017: National Assembly passed the Law amending the Criminal Code, broadening the scope of national security provisions by criminalizing the act of “preparation” for such “crimes,” and holding lawyers criminally accountable for failing to report on clients’s national security crimes

June 25, 2017: Activist Huynh Anh Tuan beaten after attempting to obtain information follow a protest and detentions 

June 25, 2017: Professor and former prisoner of conscience Pham Minh Hoang deported to France after Vietnamese citizenship revoked

June 29, 2017: Young activist Tran Hoang Phuc kidnapped by police, later arrested under Article 88 (and kidnapped earlier this year as well)

June 29, 2017: Blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (Mother Mushroom) sentenced to 10 years under Article 88 

July 3, 2017: 32 organizations released open letter calling for independent investigation into suspicious death of Hoa Hao Buddhist Nguyen Huu Tan, who died while in custody on May 3, 2017, detained under Article 88

July 3, 2017: Group of 1,000 Catholics from Central Vietnam trekked to a local government office to petition for their fair compensation from the government after the Formosa toxic

July 7, 2017: Land rights activists, prisoners of conscience Nguyen Thi Tri and Nguyen Thi Be Hai released from prison upon completion of three year sentences; co-defendant Ngo Thi Minh Uoc remains in prison

July 22, 2017: Singer Mai Khoi’s small show interfered with by police “inspectors” in Hanoi

July 24, 2017Nguyen Hieu, a blogger and activist, was beaten for the second time in two weeks, sustaining severe injuries and also questioned in custody, while filming harassment of former POC Bui Thi Minh Hang

July 24, 2017: Veteran Le Dinh Luong, 52, arrested on charges of subversion

July 25, 2017: Land and labor rights activist Tran Thi Nga sentenced to nine years in prison and five years of probation at a one-day trial

July 28, 2017: Son and daughter-in-law of recently-arrested POC Le Dinh Luong targeted by police, beaten and held in custody

July 30, 2017: Former POCs Nguyen Trung Ton, Truong Minh Duc, Nguyen Bac Truyen (assumed, due to kidnapping), and Pham Van Troi all arrested for ties to various organizations

Early August 2017: Tran Tuan Kiet, who works at a college, arrested under Article 258 for “abusing democratic freedoms.” He had previously been singled out by school administration for commenting on school affairs, such as on an unjust promotion.

August 4, 2017: Former POC Nguyen Trung Truc becomes the fifth member of the Brotherhood for Democracy arrested under Article 79 in one week, following the arrests of four other members on July 30.

Annual Events

March 8: International Women’s Day

April 6: Anniversary of Formosa environmental disaster in Central Vietnam

May 3: World Press Freedom Day

May 11: Vietnam Human Rights Day

September 2: Vietnam National Day (independence; prisoners are sometimes granted amnesty on this day)

October 15/16: Blog Action Day

November 24: Anniversary of the founding of The 88 Project

December 10: Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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