Back to top
Nguyen Huu Vinh

Nguyen Huu Vinh (Ba Sam)

HRD, Blogger
The Guardian - Article

Former police officer faces seven years in prison after being accused of writing stories that ‘distorted the policies’ of the Communist Party

Nguyen Huu Vinh, better known as Anh Ba Sam, is a Vietnamese human rights defender and blogger. He is a former police officer and his father was a government minister and ambassador. In 2007 Vinh set up his first blog (The Ba Sam blog) and he then launched two other online platforms (Citzen's Rights and Writing Vietnamese History). In his blogs, Nguyen Huu Vinh wrote about social issues and human rights. He was arrested in May 2014 and he was sentenced to five years in jail in March 2016. The court accused him of writing “untruthful and groundless content” and damaging the image of the ruling Communist Party.

Vietnamese authorities treat human rights defenders as “enemies of the State”. In Vietnam, there is no independent, privately-run media – domestic newspapers, television and radio stations are strictly controlled by the state. Internet communication is also strictly controlled and restricted. HRDs working for accountability and democracy receive accusations of being “foreign spies or agents”, “traitors”, or “violators of public order and peace”. HRDS are also subjected to intimidation, threats, interrogation, harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention. When put on trial, they are very often sentenced to heavy jail terms for their human rights work, and mistreated in prison.