Nine years in prison for « crimes » writing and “Anti-state propaganda” : it is the harsh sentence to which was sentenced, Tuesday, December 14, the famous Vietnamese journalist and blogger Pham Doan Trang. Aged 43, the young woman was accused by the Hanoi regime of “Defame the government of Vietnam and invent false news”.
Having previously given interviews to the BBC and Radio Free Asia, a US congressional-funded outlet, likely made his case worse: when a sentence of seven to eight years had been required against her, the judges imposed an even heavier sentence on the journalist, on the pretext that her statements were “Harmful” to the stability of Vietnamese society.
“The pathetic arguments put forward by the Hanoi court to justify its verdict do not fool anyone”, reacted the Head of the Asia-Pacific office of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Daniel Bastard. We are dealing with political justice, at the orders of the ruling party, the sole purpose of which is to punish a journalist who simply tried to inform her fellow citizens. ” Trang had been, in 2019, one of the three winners of the RSF Freedom of the Press Prize.
The blogger refused to plead guilty
Arrested in October 2020 after being placed under house arrest for many months in her Hanoi residence, the blogger refused to plead guilty and will no doubt appeal. Her lawyer, Ngo Anh Tuan, wrote on her Facebook page on Monday that Trang told her on October 19, when she first met one of her defenders since her incarceration, whom she had always refused to report to. “Confess” during the ten interrogations which were inflicted on him.
“During some of these sessions, investigators asked her if she would agree to leave Vietnam and live in a foreign country. But it has always refused to serve as a bargaining chip with a foreign government ”, writes the lawyer.
Pham Doan Trang is a journalist, writer and blogger known and celebrated internationally for her protest writing. She is the co-founder of the blog “Journal de la loi” and in 2017 published her ninth book, Policies of a Police State (“The Policies of a Police State”, not translated into French). His blog is consulted by around twenty thousand visitors. Trang is also one of the founders of Nha xuat ban Tu Do – which means “Liberal Publishing House” -, and whose work was recognized in 2020 by the Voltaire Prize from the International Publishers Association.
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Vietnamese journalist Pham Doan Trang sentenced to nine years in prison