On 25 August 2022, the Hanoi court of appeal upheld the conviction of Vietnamese publisher, journalist and author Pham Doan Trang on charges of alleged “anti-state propaganda”. IPA condemns the judgement and calls on international governments that value freedom of expression to use all diplomatic means to secure Pham Doan Trang’s release on the grounds that her trial was compromised, and especially in light of reports of ill health.
Kristenn Einarsson, Chair of the IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee said: This persecution of Pham Doan Trang must stop. Her unjust incarceration leaves her in ill health and we urge all governments that value freedom of expression to work urgently to secure her release.
Reports in The Vietnamese noted that foreign diplomats from the United States, the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, and the EU delegation in Vietnam were not allowed to attend the trial, which had previously been declared to be open to the public. Both the European External Action Service and the US Department of State reacted to the rejection of the appeal by expressing deep concern.
Responding to the original Court judgement in December 2021 José Borghino, IPA Secretary General, said: All publicly available information about this case, the charges and the process make it impossible to see this as anything but a show trial. The International Publishers Association commends Pham Doan Trang for her bravery in the face of this persecution which can only be intended to intimidate others into silence.
Pham Doan Trang received the 2020 IPA Prix Voltaire on behalf of Liberal Publishing House. Shortly before her arrest she prepared a video on independent publishing in Vietnam. You can see that here.