Prominent Dissident Pham Doan Trang Detained for Her New Book

Blogger political activist Pham Doan Trang

Defend the Defenders, February 24, 2018

Vietnam’s authorities have arbitrarily detained prominent political dissident Pham Doan Trang to interrogate her about her rerently-publicized book, local activists reported.

Blogger-activist Trinh Kim Tien alerted on her Facebook page that at 2PM of February 24, two officers from Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security came to the private residence of Trang’s mother in Hanoi and forced her to go with them to a police station to “work” about her new book titled “Chính trị bình dân” (Politics for All).

The mother has not been able to contact Ms. Trang after the police officers took her into their car which drove away from the Le Duc Tho residental area in the capital city, activist Tien said, adding the two officers are the same who detained Trang on November 17,2017 after a meeting with a diplomatic delegation from the EU.

The mother said that these officers have given no arrest warrant.

This is the second time Vietnam’s security forces detained Ms. Trang within four months. On November 17, she was detained and interrogated for hours after participating in a meeting with the Political Counselors of the EU Member States at the Office of the EU Delegation to Vietnam.

Trang is among leading political dissidents in Vietnam. After resigning as a journalist of state-run media, she has blogged politically and involved in a number of political activities, including the work as a writer and editor of Vietnam Rights Now and Luat Khoa Tap chi, a independent legal website.

She has produced a number of books and Chính trị bình dân is the latest one, in which she encourages all people to engage in politics to settle the country’s issues instead of leaving the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam to decide on the behalf of the 94-million nation.

The 500-page book is sold online in Amazone but not allowed to be circulated in Vietnam and local authorities have confiscated its coppies sent from foreign countries.

Due to her political activities, she has been under close surveillance of security forces. She was forced to hide most of time in recent months.

In 2015, she was brutally beaten by security forces while participating in a peaceful demonstration to protest Hanoi’s plan to chop down thousands of aged trees in the city’s center. Due to the assault, one of her legs is still injured after a series of surgeries.

In May 2016, she was kidnapped by security forces when she was on her way to a meeting between then US President Barack Obama and civil societies in Hanoi when he visited the communist nation.

In mid February this year, People In Need, a Prague-based non-governmental, non-profit organization founded on the ideals of humanism, freedom, equality and solidarity, awarded her with its Homo Homini Prize for 2017 for her contribution to human rights and democracy