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Trương Van Dũng

HRD & founding member
Hôi Bâu Bi Tương Thân

Trương Van Dũng has participated in human rights activities for several years, most actively on behalf of victims of land appropriation by Vietnamese authorities and other government injustice. He is a founding member of Hôi Bâu Bi Tương Thân, an organization that mobilizes Vietnamese citizens to support prisoners of conscience. In his work with Hôi Bâu Bi Tương Thân, Dũng makes frequent trips to offer support to families of these prisoners and join them in their trips to prisons. Trương Van Dũng has been harassed and physically assaulted on multiple occasions in retaliation for his human rights work, including a 2013 beating resulting in three broken ribs.

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.