The United States is deeply concerned by the upheld conviction and nine-year prison sentence of renowned Vietnamese author and journalist Pham Doan Trang. Trang, a 2022 winner of the Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award, has been recognized internationally for her work to advance human rights and good governance in Vietnam. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found in September 2021 that Trang’s detention is arbitrary and in contravention of Vietnam’s international human rights commitments. We note reports of Trang’s declining health and urge Vietnam to ensure adequate medical care and to allow access to Trang to assess her medical condition.
Trang’s continued detention is the latest instance in an alarming pattern of arrests and sentencing of individuals in Vietnam for peacefully expressing their opinions. We call for the Vietnamese government to release Trang and to allow all individuals in Vietnam to exercise their right to freedom of expression, without fear of retaliation, consistent with the human rights provisions in Vietnam’s constitution and Vietnam’s international obligations and commitments.