Khanh Hoa Province’s Court to Try Three Actitivsts on Allegation of “Conducting Anti-state Propaganda” on March 30

Ms. Nguyễn Thi Cam Thuy during detention on June 24, 2020


Defend the Defenders, March 29, 2021


The People’s Court of Vietnam’s central province of Khanh Hoa will hold the first-instance hearing on March 30 to try three local activists named Ms. Nguyen Thi Cam Thuy, Ms. Ngo Thi Ha Phuong, and Mr. Le Viet Hoa on the allegation of “Making, storing, spreading information, materials, items for the purpose of opposing the State of Socialist Republic of Vietnam” under Article 117 of the country’s Criminal Code.

The hearing is expected to last two days, according to Khanh Hoa newspaper, the mouthpiece of the province’s communist party committee.

Citing the case’s indictment, the state-controlled media reported that from mid 2018, Ms. Thuy has posted numerous articles criticizing Vietnam’s communist regime, distorting its policies, and defaming its leaders, including late President Ho Chi Minh, who founded the ruling Communist of Vietnam and established the regime. She was said to report a number of corruption cases and wrongdoings of Khanh Hoa’s state officials on her Facebook page.

Thuy, a fired 45-year-old teacher due to her political opinion, was said to have burned Vietnam’s national flag and cut portraits of late communist founder President Ho Chi Minh. In addition, she was said to travel from one to another place in different provinces to “propagandize” her anti-regime attitude. She was arrested on June 24 last year and held incommunicado for months, the same day authorities in Hanoi and Ha Son Binh province detained former prisoner of conscience Mrs. Nguyen Thi Tam and Mrs. Can Thi Theu and the latter’s two sons named Trinh Ba Phuong and Trinh Ba Tu on the same charge of “conducting anti-state propaganda,” the allegation being used widely by Vietnam’s communist regime to silence local critics.

It is unclear the activities of the two remaining individuals in the case. No information about their detention is available.

Currently, Vietnam is imprisoning 52 activists charged with “conducting anti-state propaganda,” 36 of them were convicted and sentenced to between four and 15 years in prison while the remaining 16 are held in pre-trial detention. Among them are prominent human rights defender and political blogger Pham Doan Trang, President of the unregistered professional group Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam (IJAVN) PhD. Pham Chi Dung and Vice President Nguyen Tuong Thuy. In early January this year, three weeks before the 13th National Congress of the ruling party, the two independent journalists were convicted and sentenced to 15 years and 11 years in prison, respectively.

In March, Vietnam arrested three Facebookers with the same allegation. Two of them are self-nominated candidates for the country’s highest legislative body National Assembly in the election scheduled in late May.