Vietnam Leading Human Rights Defender Pham Doan Trang Arrested and Charged with “Conducting Anti-state Propaganda” as Communists Hold Plenum to Prepare for 13th National Congress

Defend the Defenders, October 7, 2020

Vietnam’s security forces have detained prominent human rights defender and democracy campaigner Pham Doan Trang as the communist government has tightened control to clear all political opposition while the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) is preparing for its 13th National Congress scheduled for early 2021.

According to some local activists, Ms. Pham Doan Trang was detained at a rent house in Ho Chi Minh City during the late night of October 6. According to her landlord, during the arrest, police officers showed the arrest warrant on which she was charged with “conducting anti-state propaganda” under Article 117 of the Criminal Code with a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison.

The state-controlled media has yet covered the arrest. It is expected that the Ministry of Public Security will announce the detention soon as she is among high-risk human rights defenders in the Southeast Asian nation.