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Trung Do Nam

Trung Do Nam


Once we choose to raise our voice against injustice, we always have to be ready to face the government’s persecution. That is why we must stay strong.

Do Nam Trung is a human rights defender, whose work focuses on freedom of the press, human rights, and democracy. In May 2014, Trung and two of his friends were arrested during a protest against China’s invasion of Vietnam’s territorial waters and against the authoritian rule of the Vietnamese government. Don Nam Trung was sentenced to 14 months in prison because of his activism. Since his release in 2015, he has continued his activism joining the protests against the Formosa company (which caused a serious environmental disaster in 2016), helping rescue people in areas prone to floods and landslides, working on the campaign calling thousands of drivers to boycott corrupted tollbooths, organising demonstrations against the Vietnamese government, working with victims of land grabbing to inform them and sensitise them about their rights. Because of his work, Trung - and his colleagues - face serious threats (both from the local government and gangsters) including harassment, physical attacks, and online threats.

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.