Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung, 34, is a labor activist detained in Vietnam since February 2010 for organizing workers at a shoe factory. He is serving nine year prison sentence. Nguyen was imprisoned along with Do Thi Minh Hanh, 29, and Doan Huy Chuong, 30, who were sentenced to seven years in prison but were released on June 26, 2014 and February 13, 2017, respectively.
Doan, sometimes known as Nguyen Tan Hoanh, is a founding member of the United Farmers and Workers Organization, an independent Vietnamese labor union. In 2006, he spent 18 months in prison for founding the union and was severely mistreated. Do and her boyfriend, Nguyen, are members of “Victims of Injustice”—a group that advocates on behalf of victims of land confiscation. Both have been detained briefly for their activism, but before 2010 had never been tried or imprisoned.
In January 2010, the trio wrote and circulated a list of demands when workers at the My Phong shoe factory went on strike because of their company’s arbitrary payment policies and their managers’ abusive behavior. Management initially responded by sealing workers inside the factory, but local and regional officials stepped in and negotiated a successful compromise.
In the weeks following the strike’s peaceful conclusion, authorities identified and arrested Doan, Do, and Nguyen. Authorities indicted the trio 10 days before the their joint trial in October 2010 on charges of disrupting national security under Article 89 of the Vietnamese Criminal Code.
The trio’s trial was plagued with violations of fair trial standards. The government assured the activist’s families that they would be provided a lawyer; however, they were not represented by counsel during the closed-door trial. The government also prevented them from speaking in their own defense during the proceedings. Although their families managed to retain a lawyer for the appeal, the trio’s conviction was upheld after another closed proceeding.
The government has also subjected Doan, Do and Nguyen to deplorable treatment throughout their detention. In addition to prolonged periods of solitary confinement, they have each been repeatedly beaten. As a result, Do is now deaf in one ear and Doan has lost the use of one hand. All three suffer from rashes and liver problems—the result of poor food and sleeping conditions.
Freedom Now welcomed Do’s unconditional pardon on June 26, 2014 and Chuong’s release at the conclusion of his sentence on February 13, 2017, but continue to serve as international pro bono legal counsel to Nguyen along with the law firm Woodley & McGillivary.
In October 2012, Freedom Now and Woodley & McGillivary submitted a petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf of the three activists. In March 2013, the Working Group found their detention to be in violation of international law and called on Vietnam to immediately release them.
Joined by 28 Members of the UK Parliament and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Doan, Do, and Nguyen.
Joint letter from Freedom Now and 18 other organizations calling on President Obama to raise the cases of several prisoners of conscience when he visits Vietnam next month.
Expressing concern about the imprisonment and mistreatment of Doan Huy Chuong, Do Thi Minh Hanh, and Nguyen Doan Quoc Hung and calling on Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang to release the three labor activists.
Finding Doan Huy Chuong, Do Thi Minh Hanh, and Doan Quoc Hung's imprisonment in violation of international law and calling for their immediate release.
Submitted by Woodley & McGillivary in consultation with Freedom Now.
Freedom Now submitted a report describing the Government of Vietnam's unlawful use of arbitrary detention to be considered as part of the Universal Periodic Review of Vietnam's human rights policies and practices.
The Diplomat op-ed by Jared Genser and William McGillivary calling for Secretary of State John Kerry to use his trip to Vietnam to encourage Hanoi to improve its human rights record.
Submitted by Freedom Now on behalf of Doan Huy Chuong, Do Thi Minh Hanh, and Nguyen Doan Quoc Hung.