Tổ chức Civil Rights Defenders kêu gọi cộng đồng quốc tế phải đồng nhất lên án mạnh mẽ bản án và nhấn mạnh với nhà cầm quyền Việt Nam rằng những hành vi vi phạm nhân quyền cũng như những nỗ lực có hệ thống nhằm bịt mồm những người đấu tranh vì công lý là không thể chấp nhận được.
Harsh Punishment for Vietnamese Human Rights Defender
29 June 2017
Today, the Civil Rights Defender of the Year 2015, blogger and human rights defender Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for “conducting propaganda” against the Vietnamese State. Civil Rights Defenders stands in solidarity with and expresses full support to Me Nam for her legitimate human rights work.
Sweden and the international community must strongly protest and condemn the Vietnamese government violations against human rights and the continous non-acceptable persecution of human rights defenders.
Today, on June 29, shortly after the one-day swift trial against human rights defender Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh came to an end, the People’s Court of Khánh Hòa province announced its verdict. It is now confirmed that Quynh, also known as Me Nam (Mother Mushroom), has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The international community must stand united and strongly condemn today’s verdict. Me Nam has not committed any crime, she has been sentenced solely for peacefully exercising her right to freedom of expression and opinion. The international community must be very clear and emphasise to the Vietnamese government that violations against human rights, and the systematic attempts to silence those who fight for justice, are not accepted.
Me Nam has for more than ten years dedicated her life to speaking out against human rights violations and injustices in Vietnam. She has been harassed, intimidated, interrogated and threatened by Vietnamese authorities on a number of occasions. Today’s harsh sentence is yet another example of how the authorities punishes all forms of criticism and dissidence.
- Today´s verdict is outrageous and symbolises a severe setback for human rights. It confirms once again the repressive face of Vietnam, and the authorities’ lack of respect for human rights, says John Stauffer, Legal Director at Civil Rights Defenders.
In April 2015, Me Nam was awarded the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award as a result of her important and legitimate human rights work.
Accused of Spreading Propaganda Against the State
Me Nam was arrested by security police in October 2016 in her home town Nha Trang while accompanying an activist who was trying to visit her son in a local prison. Shortly after, a search was conducted in her home where they, according to State-controlled media, confiscated placards related to the Formosa environmental disaster, a corporate scandal that involved discharge of toxic waste into the ocean.
Me Nam was then accused of having “conducted propaganda” against the State. It was reported that she was arrested for her activities on Facebook and other Social Media, among other things for sharing a report listing 31 people who had died while being held and questioned in police custody.
Detained Incommunicado for More Than Eight Months
During today’s trial, neither international observers nor Me Nam’s family members were allowed to attend. Furthermore, Me Nam has been detained incommunicado for more than eight months since her arrest. It has been reported that it was not until 20 June that she was allowed a visit from a lawyer for the first time.
- Since she was arbitrarily detained, she has not been allowed any visitors, not even from her mother or two children. The fact that she has been detained for more than eight months without having been allowed to see a lawyer further violates her right to a fair trial, says John Stauffer from Civil Rights Defenders.
Before the trial, Civil Rights Defenders and Amnesty International released a joint public statement in which we urged the Vietnamese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Me Nam.
Văn phòng Cao Uỷ LHQ về Nhân Quyền cũng đã bày tỏ mối quan ngai nghiêm trọng với bản án ngày 29 tháng 6 và yêu cầu nhà cầm quyền phải trả tự do ngay cho Mẹ Nấm.
Vietnam: UN human rights office concerned by trial today of blogger ‘Mother Mushroom’
We are seriously concerned by the trial today of Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (alias Mother Mushroom) in the People’s Court of Khanh Hoa province. She was accused of “conducting propaganda against the state” in accordance with article 88 of the penal code.
Earlier this year, the High Commissioner expressed concern over her arrest and called for her immediate release.
Mother Mushroom has been a very active advocate for human rights and environment protection. Ms. Quynh has been blogging about human rights abuses since 2006, and she was named Civil Rights Defender of the year in 2015 by the civil society organization Civil Rights Defenders. For the past years, Ms. Quynh has faced repeated harassment by the authorities, including travel bans, physical assaults and threats.
On 30 May 2017, the UN working group on arbitrary detention concluded that the detention of Ms. Quynh was arbitrary and requested the Government to immediately release her and provide Ms. Quynh with a compensation. The UN body further requested the Government to conduct an independent investigation into the conditions of her arbitrary deprivation of liberty.
"We reiterate High Commissioner's deep concern at the growing trend of arbitrary arrests and detentions, intimidation, harassment and attacks against human rights defenders In Viet Nam" said Laurent Meillan, Acting Regional Representative for the South East Asia Human Rights Regional Office. "We urged the Government to repeal Article 88, as well as other provisions that breach international human rights standards such as articles 79, 87, 245 and 258 of the Penal Code and we are deeply disappointed that these provisions are kept (with new article numbers) in the new Penal Code adopted by the National Assembly in June 2017, which ill enter into force in January 2018 . We also call for the immediate release of all individuals detained in connection with these provisions."
The Office is further concerned by the introduction in this amended Code of a new controversial provision requiring lawyers to report national security or other serious crimes that may have been committed by their clients, in breach of the legal principle of lawyers-clients confidentiality. As such, this provision weakens the right to a counsel that is the cornerstone of the right to a fair trial.
1) Full opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is available at
2) Previous HC statement on the case:
Từ Paris và Geneve, tổ chức The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders tuyên bố "Bằng cách giam Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh, nhà cầm quyền Việt Nam cho thấy họ đã không nghiêm túc đối với những cam kết khẳng định tôn trọng nhân quyền của họ. Thực tế là Việt Nam vẫn là một quốc gia nguy hiểm cho các nhà bảo vệ nhân quyền và tất cả những người chỉ trích chính phủ một cách ôn hoà."
Paris-Geneva, June 29, 2017 - The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (an FIDH-OMCT partnership) and the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR) condemn today’s conviction and prison sentence against prominent blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh aka Mother Mushroom and call for her immediate and unconditional release.
On June 29, 2017, the People’s Court in Khanh Hoa Province sentenced Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh to 10 years in prison on charges of “conducting propaganda against the State” under Article 88 of Vietnam’s Criminal Code.
“By jailing Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, the Vietnamese Government shows it is not serious about its stated commitment to upholding human rights. The reality is that Vietnam remains a dangerous country for human rights defenders and all those who peacefully criticize the Government,” said FIDH President Dimitris Christopoulos.
Detained since October 10, 2016, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh is one of the very first human rights defenders in Vietnam to have used the Internet and social media to document human rights violations committed by the Vietnamese authorities. Since her first arrest in 2009, she has relentlessly criticized the Government on a wide range of social and political issues.
In April 2016, she addressed the Government’s mishandling of serious water pollution problems and the subsequent mass fish deaths caused by toxic waste discharged by the Taiwanese company Formosa Plastics in three coastal provinces. In an important document entitled “Stop Police Killing Civilians”, Nhu Quynh exposed numerous incidents of police brutality and alleged torture that resulted in the death of several individuals while in custody.
“The sentencing of Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh is outrageous and clearly illustrates the Government’s deliberate efforts to silence any dissenting voices in the country. We call for her immediate and unconditional release, as her detention merely aims at punishing her legitimate human rights activities,” said OMCT Secretary General Gerald Staberock.
Because of her outspoken stance on human rights, her mother and other family members have been subjected to surveillance and harassment by the authorities. Detained incommunicado from October 2016 until June 2017, Nhu Quynh’s health has been seriously affected and she has had no opportunity to prepare her defence.
In an Opinion issued on May 30, 2017, the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) declared that Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh’s detention was arbitrary because it violated her rights to liberty; fair trial; freedom of expression; freedom of peaceful assembly; and freedom of association. The WGAD concluded that Nhu Quynh’s “arrest and detention was intended to restrict her activities as a human rights defender” . The WGAD called on the Vietnamese authorities to immediately release Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, and urged the Government to bring Article 88 of the Criminal Code in compliance with Vietnam’s international human rights obligations.
“Vietnam’s harsh sentence against Nhu Quynh and its relentless crackdown on human rights defenders is the result of the use of numerous repressive laws that must be urgently repealed. The Government must use the ongoing revision of the Criminal Code to repeal Article 88 and other draconian provisions,” said VCHR President Vo Van Ai.
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and OMCT. The objective of this program is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.