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Mar 18, 2022 / 15:45

Vietnam protests US award to jailed citizen

Vietnamese Pham Thi Doan Trang was sentenced to nine years behind bars for spreading anti-state propaganda.

Vietnam has protested against the 2022 International Women of Courage Award that the US has granted to a Vietnamese woman who is jailed for subversive dissemination of information against the State.

 Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: MOFA

The fact that the US State Department gave the award to Pham Thi Doan Trang who violated Vietnamese law and was convicted shows the lack of objectivity, is inappropriate and not beneficial to the development of relations between the two countries, Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said today [March 17].

She affirmed that Vietnam continues its consistent policy of protecting and promoting fundamental rights of people, including women. Vietnam’s efforts and achievements in ensuring and improving human rights in recent years have been recognized and appreciated by the international community.

Trang, 43, was arrested in October 2020, and sentenced to nine years in prison in December 2021, for purportedly “making, storing, or disseminating propaganda against the people’s administration” in relation to her writings under the Penal Code.

Conviction showed that Pham Thi Doan Trang used to work for a number of online newspapers in Vietnam. In 2013, the defendant went abroad and was manipulated by some reactionary figures to oppose the Party and State.

During November 2017 and December 2018, she wrote, stored, and circulated documents and articles with content aimed at opposing the State. In addition, she defamed the local authorities and spread fabricated news in interviews with foreign media.

Fabricated documents spread by Trang include “Brief report on Vietnam’s marine environmental disaster”, “General assessment of the human rights situation in Vietnam”, “Report on the assessment of Law on Religion and Belief in 2016 related to the exercise of rights to freedom of religion and belief in Vietnam.”