Tran Thi Tuyet Dieu

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Police arrested Vietnamese journalist Tran Thi Tuyet Dieu in Phu Yen province on August 21, 2020. She was charged the same day with “conducting anti-state propaganda” under Article 117 of the country’s criminal code and is now serving an eight-year prison sentence. 

Dieu published news and commentary on the Facebook accounts “Tuyet Dieu Babel” and “Tran Thi Tuyet Dieu Journalist” (which has been taken down), and the YouTube channel “Tuyet Dieu Tran,” according to news reports and a statement by Defend the Defenders, an independent human rights group. She reported on socio-economic issues including corruption, the environment, and human rights issues, according to Defend the Defenders. 

The Phu Yen province police accused Dieu of publishing hundreds of articles and video clips that defamed communist leaders, including the late national founder Ho Chi Minh, and distorted the ruling Communist Party’s policies, according to the Defend the Defenders statement.

On April 23, 2021, the People’s Court in Phu Yen province convicted Dieu under Article 117 and sentenced her to eight years in prison, according to news reports. Her lawyer, Nguyen Kha Thanh, said she pleaded innocent to the charges and that the trial lasted only three hours, according to the report by the U.S. Congress-funded broadcaster Radio Free Asia. 

Dieu, a journalism graduate from Ho Chi Minh University, previously worked at the Phu Yen province’s state-run newspaper before being forced to resign in 2017 for disciplinary reasons, state-run news reports said. The Ministry of Information and Communications revoked her official press card at the time, the reports said.

Dieu was being held at Phu Yen province’s police station as of late 2021, according to The 88 Project, an advocacy group that monitors the status of Vietnamese political prisoners. 

Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, which oversees the country’s prison system, did not respond to CPJ’s emailed requests for comment about Dieu’s status and health in prison in late 2021.