Hoang Duc Binh

Current Status: Sentenced

Photo of Hoang Duc Binh

Other Names: Hoàng Đức Bình

Date of Birth: February 10, 1983

Gender: M

Religion:

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation:

Latest Prison: B14 Detention Center, Hanoi

Areas of Activism:

  • Democracy
  • Environment
  • Human rights
  • Labor rights
  • Maritime sovereignty

Known Affiliations:

  • No-U Saigon
  • Viet Labour Movement

Arrest History

May 15, 2017
February 6, 2018
14 years in prison
  • Art. 331 (new)
  • Art. 330 (new)
May 15, 2031
Defense Counsels: Ha Huy Son

Details

February 2018:

Hoang Duc Binh was sentenced to 14 years in prison on February 6, one of the longest known sentences for a political prisoner in Vietnam. His co-defendant, Nguyen Nam Phong, was sentenced to 2 years. 

Binh is the vice president of the independent Viet Labour Movement and a member of “No-U Saigon,” a soccer group that protests China’s sweeping claims on the South China Sea. He is also a well-known blogger who covered news on the environmental disaster caused by Formosa. He actively worked with the Catholic community in Nghe An province to help them obtain compensations for the damages caused by the Formosa environmental disaster.

State-owned newspaper accused him of "often posting and sharing on his personal Facebook account information and materials that propagandize against the regime and advocate for pluralism and multi-parties. Taking advantage of the environmental incident in the central coast, as the vice president of ‘Viet Labor Movement,’ Hoang Duc Binh had pushed for and formed a ‘Union for Fishermen in the Central Region’ [Hiep hoi ngu dan mien Trung], with the intention to build a peripheral organization, to gather forces and incite Catholic people and fishermen from the Central region to participate in his organization; searching for a ‘nuclear factor’ to incite protests and disrupt security and order." (translation by HRW)

Watch an interview (in Vietnamese, with English subtitles) with Hoang Duc Binh, where he explains in his own words why he was inspired to begin his activism. 

Hoang Duc Binh was arrested on May 15, 2017, in Nghe An province when he escorted Catholic priest Nguyen Dinh Thuc from the Song Ngoc parish in Dien Chau district to Vinh city. The police stopped their car in Dien Chau district’s center and violently removed Binh from the car. According to the arrest order, Binh was charged with “resisting persons in the performance of their official duties” under Article 257 and “Abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the State” under Article 258 of the 1999 Criminal Code. In August 2017, authorities added another charge against Binh, Article 143 (“destroying or deliberately damaging property”).

June 2017

Binh was transferred from Nghe An province’s temporary detention center to the detention center B14 in Hanoi. His family only found out about the transfer when they went to Nghe An province on June 15 to send him supplies.

November 2017:

The authorities extended Binh's pre-trial detention and investigation period. Binh will remain under investigation until January 6, 2018.

January 2018:

Binh faces with two charges - “resisting persons in the performance of their official duties,” under Article 330, and “Abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the State,” under Article 331, of the new 2015 Criminal Code. 

He and Nguyen Nam Phong were supposed to face trial on January 25, but the trial was rescheduled just before it was about to begin. 

February 2018:

Hoang Duc Binh was sentenced to 14 years in prison; Nguyen Nam Phong was sentenced to two years. Binh was particularly targeted for livestreaming a march against Taiwanese company Formosa, whose pollution caused a massive environmental disaster that began in April 2016. Binh received one of the harshest prison terms for a known prisoner at this time. At trial, he affirmed that he made comments about police brutality during the livestream, but he also maintained that this was not a criminal act because it was the truth.

January 2018:

Hoang Duc Binh told Nguoi Viet that he was beaten in prison.

Lawyer Ha Huy Son met with Binh on January 24, at Nghi Kim Detention Center in Nghe An province and reported that Binh is in good spirits and his health is normal, although he looks thinner and still has back pain. 

January 2018:

Human Rights Watch called for Binh and Phong's releases ahead of the scheduled trial. Brad Adams, Asia Director, stated: “There is no sign that Vietnam is slowing down its intensive crackdown on rights activists in the last 14 month." 

February 2018:

Heather Nauert, Spokesperson for the US Department of State, released a statement speaking out against the convictions of Binh and Phong, stating: "The United States is deeply troubled that a Vietnamese court has convicted and sentenced peaceful labor and environmental activist Hoang Duc Binh and Nguyen Nam Phong to fourteen years and two years in prison, respectively, under vague articles of the Penal code."

Hoang Binh Facebook

Defend the Defenders's archives

Front Line Defenders's profile of Hoang Duc Binh 

Vietnam jails environmental blogger for 14 years, Reuters, February 6, 2018

Watch an interview (in Vietnamese, with English subtitles) with Hoang Duc Binh, where he explains in his own words why he was inspired to begin his activism. 

Profile last updated: 2018-02-11 19:33:54