CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views


Blog   |   Vietnam

Vietnamese jailed blogger moved to distant province, wages hunger strike

Tran Huynh Duy Thuc was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2010. (AP/Hoang Hai/Vietnam News Agency)

On May 7, my uncle, imprisoned Vietnamese blogger Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, was unexpectedly moved from the Xuyen Moc prison camp situated near our family in Ho Chi Minh City to another detention facility about 1,500 kilometers away known as Camp No. 6 in central Nghe An province. His family was not informed in advance about the transfer and we only learned about it from the relative of a fellow prisoner of conscience being held at the same prison.

The next day, we traveled to Xuyen Moc prison to inquire about the move with authorities, who only confirmed the information and gave us the new detention camp's address. They said his transfer was in accordance with an order issued on May 5 by the General Bureau of Criminal Judgments Enforcement and Justice Assistance (General Bureau 8) under the Ministry of Public Security. They would not, however, provide us with an explanation for the reason behind his sudden transfer.

June 21, 2016 10:53 AM ET


Blog   |   Azerbaijan, China, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Vietnam

On International Women's Day, CPJ recognizes nine female journalists jailed for their work

Syrians protest the killing and torture of women by President Assad's regime in 2011. The blogger Tal al-Mallohi remains in jail in Syria despite a court ordering her release. (AP/Mohammad Hannon)

Coverage of protests and riots. Revelations of official corruption and graft. Major natural disasters. Investigations into deplorable living conditions. These are some of the important issues journalists cover in their role as the Fourth Estate.

Blog   |   Vietnam

Exile the price of freedom for Vietnamese blogger Ta Phong Tan

Nearly two months after her early release from a decade-long prison sentence, Vietnamese blogger Ta Phong Tan is settling into life in exile in the U.S. Hers was the latest in a series of U.S. State Department-negotiated releases of political prisoners held on anti-state charges on condition they promptly leave Vietnam, removed from their families, homes and communities.

Blog   |   Vietnam

Poor trade-off: Jailed journalists released into exile as Vietnam pushes for weapons deal

Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Hai arrives in Los Angeles in October 2014 after being released from jail and forced into exile. The U.S. says trade deals will depend on human rights but press freedom conditions remain poor in Vietnam. (AFP/Robyn Beck)

In September, Vietnamese blogger Ta Phong Tan was released after serving three years of a 10-year prison term and was immediately flown to Los Angeles. In October 2014 Tan's colleague Nguyen Van Hai, whom she co-founded the Free Journalists Club with in 2007 and who was also imprisoned for his work, followed the same route.

Blog   |   Vietnam

US-Vietnam strategic partnership must be contingent on press freedom

Secretary of State John Kerry and Communist Party General-Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in Hanoi on August 7. The U.S. and Vietnam are working on a strategic partnership. (Reuters/Hoang Dinh Nam/Pool)

Secretary of State John Kerry's recent visit to Vietnam was made to celebrate the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the former adversaries. While Kerry's speech during his three-day tour emphasized the need for Hanoi to improve its rights record to deepen bilateral ties, it is time Washington dispensed with vaulted rhetoric and predicated future economic and strategic engagement on the release of jailed journalists.

Blog   |   Vietnam

Q&A: Ta Phong Tan's sister calls for release of ailing and jailed Vietnamese blogger

Ta Phong Tan, third from left, was a founding member of the Free Journalists Club of Vietnam. (Nguyen Tien Trung/Flickr)

As an independent blogger, Ta Phong Tan often highlighted abuses in Vietnam's justice system. Now as a prisoner of conscience serving a 10-year sentence for "propagandizing against the state," an anti-state offense under Article 88 of Vietnam's criminal code, she is suffering under the same abusive system she once critiqued and exposed.

Blog   |   Vietnam

Dieu Cay on solitary confinement, hunger strikes, and his fight for press freedom

EDITOR'S NOTE: Held in solitary confinement and stripped of his human rights, Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Hai suffered greatly during his six and a half years in prison. The 63-year-old outspoken critic of the repressive Vietnamese government was granted early release from a 12-year sentence last year, thanks in part to campaigning by CPJ. Hai, who writes under the name Dieu Cay (Peasant's Pipe), was awarded CPJ's International Press Freedom Award in 2013. Here, he gives a grim account of life as a political prisoner and pledges to use his new-found freedom to continue his fight against injustice.

Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Hai, who was jailed for more than six years for his critical writing, is living in exile in the U.S. (AP/Richard Vogel)

Blog   |   Vietnam

Jailed Vietnamese blogger Ta Phong Tan on hunger strike over mistreatment

Incarcerated blogger Ta Phong Tan has been on hunger strike since May 13 to protest the mistreatment of political prisoners at the prison where she is being held in Vietnam's central Thanh Hoa province, according to news reports. It is believed to be the third time Tan has fasted in protest at poor prison conditions since she was detained in September 2011 for her critical reporting.

Blog   |   Vietnam

In Vietnam, arrests dash hopes that crackdown on bloggers will end

Protesters in Hanoi hold up pictures of jailed bloggers and activists in May 2014. Hopes that authorities would end the repression of bloggers have faded with the arrest of three more writers. (Reuters/Nguyen Huu Vinh)

What one hand gives, the other takes in Vietnam. Last October's early release of jailed blogger Nguyen Van Hai, more commonly known as Dieu Cay, has proven to be an anomaly as authorities have subsequently ramped up their repression of other independent bloggers.

Blog   |   Vietnam

Undercover in Vietnam: Room for debate frees up but bloggers remain imprisoned

In the final part of CPJ's "Undercover in Vietnam" series on press freedom in Vietnam, Southeast Asia Representative Shawn Crispin reveals how prominent blogger Nguyen Van Hai remains behind bars for his critical writing despite the margin for debate opening. The series concludes with recommendations for the Vietnamese government and international bodies.

Petitions calling for the release of Nguyen Van Hai are scattered across a table at the CPJ International Press Freedom Awards. Hai is serving a 12-year sentence for blogging. (Michael Nagle/Getty Images for Committee to Protect Journalists/AFP)

Incarcerated for the past six years in poor prison conditions, Nguyen Van Hai has suffered dearly for his critical views on China. First detained on trumped up tax evasion charges in 2008, and subsequently convicted in 2012 on anti-state charges for blogging, 62-year-old Hai is currently serving a 12-year jail term that his family fears could be a death sentence in view of his declining health.

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