Nguyen Dang Minh Man

Current Status: Sentenced

Photo of Nguyen Dang Minh Man

Other Names: Nguyễn Đặng Minh Mẫn

Date of Birth: January 10, 1985

Gender: F

Religion: Christian (Catholic)

Ethnicity: Kinh


Latest Prison: Prison No. 5, Thanh Hoa province

Areas of Activism:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Democracy
  • Human rights
  • Maritime sovereignty
  • Police Brutality

Known Affiliations:

Arrest History

August 2, 2011
January 8, 2013
8 years in prison
  • Art. 79
  • Art. 87
August 2, 2019


Update on December 17, 2017:

Minh Man remains in prison, one of the few still imprisoned from the mass trial of Catholic activists in January 2013. She has previously been held in solitary confinement, and her health in prison has worsened.

Minh Man is a Catholic activist from Nghe An province and has training as a beautician.

Minh Man began photographing protests in Vietnam and posting photos online when she was around 24. She photographed anti-China protests in Ho Chi Minh City on June 5, 2011.

Minh Man was arrested in August 2011 as part of a targeted crackdown on Vietnamese Catholic youth activists; her camera was confiscated. She was arrested along with her brother and mother and tried along with 13 others on January 8-9, 2013 in Nghe An. The trial of all activists lasted only two days and was highly secretive. In prison, Minh Man is subjected to heavy physical labor and ill-treatment.

November 2014:

Minh Man started a hunger strike over her poor treatment in prison. Earlier in November 2014, authorities placed her in what amounted to solitary confinement.

March 2015:

Reports came that Minh Man has been on hunger strike for several periods in recent months, which has taken a toll on her health.

May 2015:

Prisoner of conscience Pham Thi Loc reported that Minh Man's health has worsened.

March 2015:

Recent periods of hunger strikes have left Minh Man weighing only 35 kg. She remains in solitary confinement and is unable to participate in exercise.

May 2015:

Prisoner of conscience Pham Thi Loc, arrested 2011, was released from prison, and reported back on the poor health of her cellmates, Ta Phong Tan, Can Thi Theu, and Nguyen Dang Minh Man, reporting all to be in worsened health since their arrests.

Minh Man has faced unknown amounts of time in solitary confinement.

March 2015:

Minh Man has not been allowed to socialize with non-political prisoners, and visits with her mother have been limited. She is often singled out for cruel treatment for being a political prisoner.

Minh Man's mother completed a three-year prison sentence; her brother a three year suspended sentence, after being tried alongside Minh Man. Her father has been repeatedly harassed and intimidated due to his family's arrests. He must travel 40 hours to visit her, and even once there, is sometimes not allowed to meet with her. He has traveled to the US to advocate for her release.

January 2013:

Article 19 and Human Rights Watch released statements condemning the arrests and trials of the 14 Catholic activists rounded up in a concerted crackdown.

Three UN Special Rapporteurs and the Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention sent a letter to the Vietnamese government asking about the circumstances behind the detentions of several pro-democracy activists, including Nguyen Dang Minh Man. Of the 14 activsits mentioned in the letter, they said: "All have advocated for social justice, including by organizing peaceful demonstrations. The majority of them are Catholic, from the Catholic Diocese of Vinh City." They asked for more information about the cases and how the governments' actions were compatible with international law. 

April 2013:

Human Rights Watch demanded the release of political prisoners ahead of bilateral human rights dialogues, highlighting especially the cases of those in poor health, including Minh Man.

June 2014:

Stakeholder groups submitted comments on recent arrests and trials ahead of Universal Periodic Review.

December 2014:

Law students in Croatia filed a petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on Minh Man's behalf.

August 2015:

An Australian Member of Parliament sent a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs asking her to raise the cases of Minh Man and two others in upcoming human rights meetings.

September 2015:

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention deemed Minh Man's arrest and detention to be arbitrary.

The 88 Project's archives

Defend the Defender's archives

Activists Convicted in Vietnam Crackdown on Dissent, The New York Times, January 9, 2013 (PDF)

Jailed Female Photo Journalist on Hunger Strike in Vietnam, Global Voices Advox, December 11, 2014 

Vietnamese Photojournalist Continues Hunger Strike After Four Years Behind Bars, Global Voices Advox, March 16, 2015

It's Time for the Obama Administration to Get Tough on Human Rights in Vietnam, The Diplomat, June 24, 2015 

Profile last updated: 2018-05-17 03:48:05