Urgent Action: Woman Human Rights Defender at Risk of Torture (Viet Nam: UA 161.20)
November 2, 2020
Woman human rights defender Pham Thi Doan Trang was arrested on 6 October 2020 for her peaceful activism. Facing up to 20 years in prison, she is currently being held incommunicado and is at grave risk of torture. A published author, journalist and organizer, Doan Trang has struggled tirelessly to promote human rights and has inspired a generation of activists in Viet Nam. In recent years, Doan Trang has been subjected to repeated harassment, intimation and attacks, including incidents of gender-based violence, arbitrary detention, and assault. The Vietnamese authorities must release Pham Thi Doan Trang immediately and unconditionally as she is a prisoner of conscience.
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Secretary General and State President Nguyễn Phú Trọng
Số 2 Hùng Vương, Ngọc Hồ, Ba Đình
Hà Nội 118708, Viet Nam
Fax: +84 37335256
Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc
Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
1233 20th St NW Ste 400, Washington DC 20036
Phone: 202 861 0737 I Fax: 202 861 0917
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
I am writing to express my grave concern about the recent arrest of Pham Thi Doan Trang, who has peacefully advocated for human rights in Viet Nam for many years. I am particularly concerned that she is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment while held incommunicado in Prison Number One in Hanoi.
Charged under article 117 of the Vietnamese Penal Code, it is alarming that Pham Thi Doan Trang could face up to 20 years in prison simply for writing about human rights and courageously helping to build a Viet Nam in which everyone’s human rights are respected. She has worked tirelessly to make that vision a reality. Unfortunately, instead of receiving protection and support from the Vietnamese authorities, Doan Trang has been subjected to relentless harassment by state security forces. In the past three years, Doan Trang has been arbitrarily detained, threatened, and subjected to torture and other ill-treatment while in police custody.
Viet Nam has an obligation under international human rights law and also under its own Constitution to protect human rights defenders and ensure they can carry out their work in a safe and supportive environment. Pham Thi Doan Trang’s work to promote human rights is both constitutional and in line with the Vietnamese authorities’ voluntary international human rights commitments.
Pham Thi Doan Trang is a prisoner of conscience, who has been detained solely for her human rights work. I therefore urge you to ensure that Pham Thi Doan Trang is released immediately and unconditionally; pending her release, grant Pham Thi Doan Trang prompt, regular and unrestricted access to adequate medical care, family visits and access to a lawyer of her choice; and ensure Pham Thi Doan Trang is treated in full accordance with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules), and is protected from torture and other ill-treatment, including poor conditions of detention and prolonged pre-trial detention.
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