Vietnamese IPA Prix Voltaire Winner Arrested

Pham Doan Trang, the Vietnamese author, journalist and co-founder of Liberal Publishing House, and winner of the 2020 Prix Voltaire from the International Publishers Association, was arrested yesterday. According to early reports from Vietnam Human Rights Defenders and Reuters, she was arrested for “conducting anti-state propaganda” under Article 117 of the Criminal Code with a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison.

Liberal publishing house was founded in February 2019 in Ho Chi Minh City by a group of dissidents as a direct challenge to the Vietnamese government’s control of the publishing industry. Trang is the author of several books including: Politics for the Common People, A Handbook for Families of Prisoners, On Non-Violent Resistance Techniques, Politics of a Police State and Citizen Journalism.

She was expected to be a speaker at next week's Frankfurt Book Fair hosted by the IPA on Vietnam, with the  the title Guerilla Publishing and International Support (Thursday, October 15). Her contribution has already been recorded and will be broadcast.

Trang left a letter for release in the event she was arrested. In it, she asks that her imprisonment be used to call for reforms of election laws in Vietnam, not her release. 

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