Press Release: On the Detention of Our Founder and Editorial Board Member Pham Doan Trang
In the afternoon of November 16, 2017, the Vietnamese police kidnapped Luật Khoa magazine’s founder and a current member of our editorial board, Pham Doan Trang, almost immediately after she had left the meeting with the EU delegation in Hanoi held earlier that day.
The police had illegally seized her personal property, including her cell phone and laptop, and kept them since. Pham Doan Trang was held incommunicado the entire detention, and legal representation was not allowed.
By midnight, the police escorted Pham Doan Trang back to her home in Hanoi and continued to surveil her, effectively putting her under house arrest.
The meeting with the EU delegation was held right before the commencement of their annual Human Rights Dialogue with Vietnam, which is going to be in early December 2017. During the meeting on November 16, Doan Trang provided the EU delegation with an updates report on Vietnam’s current human rights situation, the report on the Formosa environmental disaster, as well as the latest report on the right to religion in Vietnam.
Luat Khoa magazine strongly condemns the kidnapping, unlawful taking of property and putting Pham Doan Trang under house arrest. These conducts are in direct violation of both Vietnam’s and international laws, and as such, they have put a member of our editorial board in grave danger where both her physical and mental health have been negatively affected, especially when Doan Trang is still undergoing treatment for her previous knees injuries.
We, therefore, demand that the relevant authorities of Vietnam to immediately intervene and cease the ongoing illegal house arrest, investigate the unlawful individual conducts listed above, and prosecute those who have committed such crimes, in accordance to the current legal standards in Vietnam.