Home Page > News Item > VIETNAM: Internet writer’s sentence reduced

RAN 45/11 – Update # 1, 2 December 2011
The Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International welcomes the decision of an appeals court to reduce the sentence being served by university teacher and Internet writer Pham Minh Hoang. He will still have to serve three years of house arrest after his release in January 2012. PEN International continues to call for the immediate and unconditional release of Pham Minh Hoang and all other writers and journalists currently detained in Vietnam in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Vietnam is a signatory.

Pham Minh Hoang (pen name Phan Kien Quoc) holds French and Vietnamese nationality. He was arrested in August 2010 and was sentenced a year later, after being found guilty of “activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s government.” Pham’s three year sentence was reduced on appeal to seventeen months at a hearing on 29 November 2011 at the People’s Supreme Court in Ho Chi Minh City. He is expected to be released on 12 January 2012.

In his blog, Pham Minh Hoang has written about a variety of social topics, including freedom of expression, education, the environment and workers rights. He is said to be a member of the banned party Viet Tan.

The following information is taken from a 29 November 2011 alert by Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF):

At today’s hearing, the appeal court judge said he had taken account of Hoang’s “recognition” of “his errors,” his request for clemency and his pledge to sever all ties with Viet Tan, an outlawed pro-democracy party. The judge said he also took account of his parents’ age – they are both in their 90s – and the desire to “maintain good relations between France and Vietnam.”
For the full text of RSF report, click see here.

Please send appeals:

Welcoming the reduction of the prison sentence handed down to university teacher and Internet writer Pham Minh Hoang;
Calling for Pham Minh Hoang’s immediate and unconditional release, as well as of all those currently detained in Vietnam solely for the peaceful expression their opinions, in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Vietnam is a signatory.

Appeals to be sent to:

Mr Pham Binh Minh
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1 Ton That Dam Street
Ba Dinh district, Ha Noi
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Fax: + 844 3823 1872
E-mail: bc.mfa@mofa.gov.vn

Mr Truong Tan Sang
President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Please note you may wish to ask the diplomatic representative for Vietnam in your country to forward your appeals to its government. It would also be advantageous to ask your country’s diplomatic representatives in Vietnam to intervene in the case.

For Vietnamese embassies addresses see:

***Please send appeals immediately. Check with PEN International if sending appeals after 12 January 2012. ***

For further information please contact Cathy McCann at International PEN Writers in Prison Committee, Brownlow House, 50/51 High Holborn, London WC1V 6ER, Tel.+ 44 (0) 20 7405 0338, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7405 0339, email: cathy.mccann@pen-internationalpen.org