Nguyen Van Hoa
Detained Since: January 11, 2017.
Charges: Article 88 of the Penal Code, an anti-state provision for “propagandizing” against the state.
Sentence: Seven years in prison followed by three years of house arrest.
Biography: Nguyen Van Hoa is a videographer with RFA's Vietnamese language service. He was arrested and sentenced by Vietnamese authorities to seven years in prison and three years of house arrest in 2017. The Vietnamese authorities invoked Article 88 of the Penal Code, an anti-state provision that carries a maximum 20-year prison term for “propagandizing” against the state. During his trial, authorities coerced Van Hoa into waiving representation of a defense attorney and was tried in secret without family or independent witnesses present.
Vietnamese authorities had previously beaten and confiscated Mr. Nguyen’s equipment while he was on assignment for RFA in November 2016. In his personal capacity as a citizen journalist, Mr. Nguyen had published videos of protests arising out of the 2016 Formosa Steel marine life disaster.
Advocacy Partner: Freedom Now
Past Advocate: Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA, Ret.)
- Radio Free Asia highlighted Rep. Alan Lowenthal's advocacy on behalf of journalist and videographer Nguyen Van Hoa (September 25, 2020, Radio Free Asia).
- Rep. Alan Lowenthal led his colleagues in a letter to Secretaries Pompeo and Mnuchin calling for the United States Government to apply Global Magnitsky sanctions against members of the Ha Tinh Province Police.
- Nguyen's sister has expressed concern about his deteriorating physical and mental health due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and frequent illnesses caused by poor prison conditons (January 28, 2022, Radio Free Asia).
- Nguyen Van Hoa was named as the most urgent case in the One Free Press Coalition’s list of the “10 Most Urgent” Press Freedom Cases (February 1, 2022, Forbes).
- His case was highlighted in an Op-Ed in the Washington Post titled "In Vietnam, Facebook posts are risky. Just ask these bloggers." published on November 17, 2022. The article also highlighted the case of Pham Doan Trang (Washington Post, Nov. 17, 2022).
- Nguyen Van Hoa was featured in Freedom House's Free Them All Initiative, launched January 31, 2023. A total of 10 political prisoners are featured in the initiative, including Server Mustafayev (January 31, 2023, Freedom House).