Bangkok, October 11, 2022 – In response to a news report and social media post that Vietnam has punitively transferred journalist Pham Doan Trang to a prison facility far away from her family, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement of condemnation on Tuesday:
“CPJ categorically condemns the transfer of journalist Pham Doan Trang to a detention facility far removed from her family,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. “Vietnam has a nasty habit of moving jailed journalists far away from their families, lawyers, and colleagues to prevent regular prison visits and stifle communication of their treatment and health. This abusive practice must stop now.”
On October 1, Trang was transferred from Hoa Lo Detention Center in the capital Hanoi to An Phuoc Prison, over 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) away in the south of the country, according to a report by The Vietnamese, an independent news publication that Trang co-founded. The report noted that Vietnamese authorities often order such transfers as an “extra form of punishment.”
Trang, who will be honored with CPJ’s 2022 International Press Freedom Award in New York on November 17, 2022, is serving a nine-year sentence for distributing propaganda against the state, a criminal offense under Article 117 of Vietnam’s penal code.
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 December 1, 2021, prison census.