Vietnam Human Rights Defenders’ Weekly Report for November 15-21, 2021: Five Imprisoned Human Rights Defenders Honored with Vietnam Human Rights Award 2021

Defend the Defenders | November 21, 2021
On November 20, the California-based group Vietnam Human Rights Network announced its decision to honor five human rights defenders with its prestigious annual prize Vietnam Human Rights Award 2021 for their contribution to protect human rights in the country.
The honored activists are Mrs. Can Thi Theu, Ms. Dinh Thi Thu Thuy, Mr. Nguyen Van Tuc, Mr. Trinh Ba Phuong, and Mr. Trinh Ba Tu. Four of them are imprisoned for “conducting anti-state propaganda” under Article 117 of the country’s Criminal Code while Mr. Tuc was sentenced in 2019 to 13 years in prison for subversion. Three of them are in one family, Mrs. Can Thi Theu is the mother of Mr. Phuong and Mr. Tu.
Since 2002, Vietnam Human Rights Network has honored 54 individual activists and five groups for their contribution to protect human rights and multi-party democracy in Vietnam, including prominent human rights advocates Pham Doan Trang and Pham Chi Dung as well as the unregistered professional group Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam (IJAVN) and the Brotherhood for Democracy (BFD). 
This year, the prizes will be handed over to the recipients at a ceremony on December 12 on the occasion of the International Human Rights. Each recipient will also receive $3,000.
On November 15, the People’s Court of the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa convicted local resident Nguyen Tri Doan of “conducting anti-state propaganda” for his Facebook posting. The 42-year-old aquatic farmer was sentenced to seven years and three years of probation. He was arrested in January this year and held incommunicado until being taken to the court. Saigon-based human rights attorney Dang Dinh Manh said Mr. Doan’s family had hired him to provide legal assistance for the Facebooker, however, the lawyer had not been allowed to meet his client during the pre-trial detention. Manh was informed about the the trial on late November 12 so he was unable to attend the hearing.
Khanh Hoa police summoned activist Bui Tuan Lam after “Salt Bae” parody video in which he filmed himself imitating Nusret Gokce, or “Salt Bae,” days after Minister of Public Security To Lam was caught on camera eating gold-encrusted steak at the Turkish celebrity chef’s London restaurant. Lam, who often raises the country’s social issues on his Facebook, was forced to close his small noodle shop on Nha Trang city.