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Brotherhood for Democracy

The Brotherhood for Democracy was founded in 2013 as a loose association of activists and human rights defenders formerly imprisoned for their political beliefs. The Brotherhood aims to support the development of a just society in Vietnam as well as to defend the human rights standards established in Vietnam’s constitution and international human rights conventions. Prior to a 2017 crackdown by Vietnamese authorities on the Brotherhood, the group provided frequent trainings on human rights topics to Vietnamese citizens. Members also assist victims of rights infringement by Vietnamese authorities and private businesses in advocacy efforts and filing of legal cases. In April 2018, seven members of the Brotherhood for Democracy were found guilty of “carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration” and given lengthy prison sentences.


Vietnamese authorities treat human rights defenders as “enemies of the State”. HRDs are subjected to intimidation, threats, interrogation, harassment, arrest and routine beatings. Many defenders are victims of arbitrary detention and criminalisation. Most often, they are not informed of the reasons for their arrest or why their request for bail is denied. When put on trial, they are very often sentenced to heavy jail terms and mistreated in prison.