Doan Huy Chuong, 29, and Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung, 33, are labor activists detained in Vietnam since February 2010 for organizing workers at a shoe factory. Mr. Doan is serving seven-year prison sentence; Mr. Nguyen was sentenced to nine years in prison. The two labor activists were imprisoned along with Do Thi Minh Hanh, 29, who was also sentence to seven years in prison but was released early on June 26, 2014.
Mr. 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. Ms. Do and her boyfriend, Mr. 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 Mr. Doan, Ms. Do, and Mr. 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 Mr. Doan, Ms. Do and Mr. Nguyen to deplorable treatment throughout their detention. In addition to prolonged periods of solitary confinement, they have each been repeatedly beaten. As a result, Ms. Do is now deaf in one ear and Mr. 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 Ms. Do’s unconditional pardon on June 26, 2014, but continues to serve as international pro bono legal counsel to Mr. Doan and Mr. Nguyen along with the law firm Woodley & McGillivary.
Joined by 28 Members of the UK Parliament and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Doan, Do, and Nguyen.
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.