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Pham Doan Trang

HRD & Founder
Luật Khoa
Homo Homini Prize

“You cannot be afraid,” says Pham Doan Trang, who will be awarded the Homo Homini prize for the courage she employs while tirelessly pursuing a democratic change within her country, despite harassment and persecution.

Pham Doan Trang is a human rights defender, blogger and journalist. She is the founder of online magazine Luật Khoa on law and human rights and a member of the editorial board of newly launched The Vietnamese, an independent news website aiming to raise public awareness about human rights situation and politics in Vietnam. She recently published “Politics for All”, a book promoting citizen participation, and authored in 2008 a book on Vietnam’s LGBTI community’s demands for equal rights. In 2012, after being arrested and interrogated, she published the recording of her interrogation and had to leave the country for a while.

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.