Doan Viet Hoat, Dien Dan Tu Do
Imprisoned: November 17, 1990
Public security police arrested Hoat, editor and publisher of the pro-democracy
newsletter Dien Dan Tu Do (Freedom Forum). The Ho Chi Minh City
Peopleís Court sentenced him in late March 1993 to 20 years of hard labor
for his involvement with the newsletter. He is currently serving out his
sentence, commuted to 15 years on appeal, in Thanh Cam Prison. Located
in northern Vietnam, near the Laotian border, Thanh Cam is normally reserved
for serious criminal offenders. Hoat suffers from kidney stones, a condition
that developed during his previous 12-year incarceration by the Hanoi regime.
In November 1997, the World Association of Newspapers awarded its Golden
Pen of Freedom for press freedom to Doan Viet Hoat for his "extraordinary
courage" in the fight for press freedom in Vietnam.
Nguyen Van Thuan (Chau Son),
Dien Dan Tu Do
Imprisoned: Late 1990
Thuan, whose pen name is Chau Son, was arrested in the fall of 1990
and in March 1993 was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his involvement
with the pro-democracy newsletter Dien Dan Tu Do (Freedom Forum).
His sentence was reduced on appeal to eight years. Thuan suffered a stroke
on February 25, 1994, that left him partially paralyzed. He is reportedly
being held in a re-education camp where he is not forced to carry out labor,
although the lack of medical facilities raises concerns for his health.
Le Duc Vuong, Dien Dan Tu Do
Imprisoned: Late 1990
Vuong was arrested in the fall of 1990 and sentenced in late March
1993 to seven years in prison for his involvement with the pro-democracy
newsletter Dien Dan Tu Do (Freedom Forum). CPJ believes Vuong is
incarcerated at Xuan Phuoc labor camp.
Nguyen Dan Que
Sentenced: November 1991
Que was convicted of compiling and distributing subversive literature
and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Before he was imprisoned, he had distributed
political handbills and sent documents abroad. Que, who suffers from hypertension
and a bleeding gastric ulcer, is imprisoned at the Xuyen Moc labor camp
in Dong Nai Province.
Nguyen Hoang Linh, Doang Nghiep
Arrested: October 8, 1997
Hoang Linh, editor of the state-run business newspaper Doang Nghiep,
was arrested on charges of revealing state secrets. The charges were linked
to articles he wrote that explored questionable practices of Vietnamís
General Customs Department in the purchase of coastal patrol boats. Local
journalists said the arrest was interpreted as a warning to reporters to
stay away from stories about government corruption. The arrest followed
restrictions imposed earlier in the year concerning financial and banking
information. The government also barred Vietnamese journalists from giving
information to their foreign counterparts without first obtaining state