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Do Thi Minh Hanh

Do Thi Minh Hanh

HRD & President
Viet Labor Movement

Do Thi Minh Hanh is the president of Viet Labor Movement, an unofficial organization working to protect and promote the rights of laborers across Vietnam. After working to ensure the rights and fair wages of thousands of workers in Vietnam’s My Phong leather shoes factory, she was arrested and jailed for “disrupting national security”. Since her release in 2014, Do Thi Minh Hanh has continued her work with Viet Labor Movement, and Vietnamese authorities have continued to regularly monitor and harass the defender.

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. Detained HRDs also do not have access to lawyers and families and can be denied medical care. They can be intentionally transferred to remote locations, thus making it more difficult for their families to visit them. Human rights lawyers are often abused and disbarred from their respective bar association.