Tran Huynh Duy Thuc
Detained Since: May 24, 2009.
Charges: Promoting anti-Socialist, anti-government propaganda and undertaking activities aimed at subverting the people’s government.
Sentence: Sixteen years in prison followed by five years' house arrest.
Biography: Tran Huynh Duy Thuc is a Vietnamese blogger, entrepreneur and businessman, who was arrested in May 2009 and is currently serving a 16 year prison sentence. He was initially charged with theft of a telecommunications device, but the authorities were unable to find any evidence for this, and later charged Tran with “promoting anti-Socialist, anti-government propaganda” and undertaking “activities aimed at subverting the people’s government”. He was jailed, along with three other democracy activists, after a trial lasting just one day; his sentence is the longest ever handed down to a dissident in Vietnam. Tran is the founder and CEO of One-Connection Internet, an Internet service provider, and the author of several dissident blogs and articles on Vietnam’s economy.
Advocate: Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
In a letter led by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, 15 bipartisan members of Congress called on the Vietnamese Government to release human rights blogger Tran Huynh Duy Thuc and 26 additional wrongfully incarcerated political prisoners. (May 28, 2015, U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA))
French President Francois Hollande asks for the release of four jailed dissidents, including Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, during his two day visit to Vietnam. (September 7, 2016, The Sun Daily)
According to his brother, Tran Huynh Duy Thuc is in “good spirits” and preparing to appeal his sentence. Thuc’s brother, his wife, and two other siblings spent an hour with him on Feb. 18 with during a Lunar New Year visit. (February 27, 2018, Radio Free Asia)
Tran Huynh Duy Thuc started a hunger strike on August 14 to protest police pressure on him to plead guilty in exchange for amnesty. According to his brother, he said he would continue his hunger strike after that if his demands are not addressed. (August 20, 2018, Radio Free Asia)
Tran Huynh Duy Thuc said he will continue his hunger strike until prison authorities address his requirements. He had initially planned to end the strike on August 23. (August 28, 2018, Radio Free Asia)