Joint Letter of 20 Israeli Educators Demanding Release of Vietnamese Educator Nguyen Nang Tinh

Pro-democracy activist Nguyen Nang Tinh

October 4, 2020

Nguyen Nang Tinh- Israel


MK Benjamin Gantz

Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister


For decades, Vietnam has been governed by a dictatorial regime of the “Communist Party of Vietnam”(CPV). Citizens who dare to criticize the CPV are attacked by security forces, arrested, severely tortured, some prosecuted for draconian criminal offenses, some executed during torture and some executed in legal proceedings; Some citizens are held in unofficial detentions that the regime refuses to admit, so they are defined as “disappeared”; Those who are not arrested but suspected of hostility to the regime are under constant surveillance and severe restrictions are placed on their freedom of occupation and freedom of movement.

On May 29, 2019, Mr. Nguyen Nang Tinh, a music teacher was arrested. Tinh was born in 1976 in Nghe Tinh province in central Vietnam. He acquired his academic education at the Academy of Music in the city of Hue and from 2013-2019 taught music theory and keyboard harmony at the College of Culture and Art of Nghe An.

He was indicted for “spreading propaganda against the state” under section 117 of the Vietnamese Penal Code, due to critical posts about the regime on Facebook (Tinh denied that the Facebook page was his). Despite his clear knowledge of the price he might pay Tinh used to express to his students his views on human rights violations and the severe harm to the environment caused by the communist regime, as well as the violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty by China with the CPV turning a blind eye. Tinh even presented in his classes music composed by dissidents of the regime.

On November 15, 2019, Tinh was convicted in an expedited legal proceeding that did not meet

international standards. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison and another 5 years on probation. On April 20, 2020, the Supreme Court in the capital Hanoi rejected Tinh’s appeal.

In October 2018, the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense signed a security understanding agreement, and representatives of the Israeli defense establishment are meeting on a regular basis with senior CPV officials. According to evidence and various reports in Vietnam in recent years the State of Israel has been a major supplier of weapons and surveillance systems to Vietnam.

We, the undersigned educators in music and musicology studies throughout the State of Israel, ask you to use the close ties between the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the communist regime in Vietnam and request the immediate release of our colleague, political detainee Nguyen Nang Tinh.

Music and freedom are inextricably linked, as illustrated by Leonard Bernstein on December 25, 1989, when he conducted Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as part of the celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the “Ode to Joy,” Bernstein changed Friedrich Schiller’s original lyrics, replacing the word joy with the word freedom.

Tinh is also entitled to freedom, and we ask you to convey this message without delay to your

Activist Nguyen Nang Tinh (middle) at a protest against the government’s plan to give land for Chinese investors

counterparts in Vietnam.


Prof. Veronika Cohen

Dr. Michal Hefer

Dr. Yoel Greenberg

Ofri Akavia

Chaya Offek

Prof. Judith Cohen

Michal Toussia-Cohen

Prof. Ruth HaCohen Pinczower

Prof. Emer. Menachem Zur

Dr. Elisheva Rigbi

Prof. Emer. Naphtali Wgner

Yochanan Nerel

Prof. Emer. Shmuel Magen

Dr. Aline Gabay

Dr. Dochy Lichtensztajn

Prof. Amnon Wolman

Inbal Djamchid

Prof. Edwin Seroussi

Dr. Michael Lukin

Prof. Benjamin Oren

The letter was posted at:


Nguyen Nang Tinh- Israel