Bangkok, August 16, 2022 – In response to news reports that the Hanoi People’s High Court in Vietnam will hold an appeals trial on August 25 for imprisoned journalist Pham Doan Trang, who was sentenced on propaganda charges to nine years imprisonment in December 2021, the Committee to Protect Journalists on Tuesday issued the following statement calling for authorities not to contest her appeal:
“Vietnamese authorities should not contest journalist Pham Doan Trang’s appeal of her nine-year prison sentence handed last December and release her without terms or conditions that would affect her ability to work as a journalist,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. “The sooner Vietnam releases all of the journalists it wrongfully holds behind bars, the sooner it will be taken seriously as a responsible global actor.”
The appeals trial will be open to the public and is expected to take place at 8 a.m. on August 25 at the high court’s Cau Giay district headquarters, according to a report by The Vietnamese, an independent publication where Trang is a founding editor.
On December 14, 2021, Trang was sentenced to nine years in prison for distributing anti-state propaganda, a criminal offense under Article 117 of Vietnam’s penal code, CPJ reported at the time. She was convicted in a one-day trial after being held in pretrial detention since October 20, 2020.
Trang will be honored with CPJ’s International Press Freedom Award in New York City on November 17, 2022, in recognition of her courage in reporting in the face of persecution at a benefit dinner.
Vietnam ranked as the world’s fourth-worst jailer of journalists, with at least 23 members of the press held behind bars for their work, according to CPJ’s 2021 prison census.