Nguyen Huu Vinh

Current Status: Sentenced

Photo of Nguyen Huu Vinh

Other Names: Nguyễn Hữu Vinh, Anh Ba Sàm

Date of Birth: 1956

Gender: M


Ethnicity: Kinh


Latest Prison: Prison No. 5, Thanh Hoa province

Areas of Activism:

  • Democracy
  • Press

Known Affiliations:

Arrest History

May 5, 2014
March 23, 2016
5 years in prison
  • Art. 258
May 5, 2019


May 2018:

May 5, 2018, marked four years since bloggers Nguyen Huu Vinh and Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy were arrested. 

Nguyen Huu Vinh, also known as Anh Ba Sam, is a former police officer and private investigator. 

Nguyen Huu Vinh started the blog Ba Sam in 2007, which featured content on a variety of social, economic, and political topics. Later, Vinh started other websites as well. Vinh eventually backed away from his direct role with Ba Sam, and the blog faced many concerted attacks over the years.

On May 5, 2014, authorities detained Nguyen Huu Vinh and his assistant Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy on charges related to articles published on two of their more recently-established websites. They awaited trial for almost two years (the trial was originally set for January 19, 2016, but later rescheduled); on March 23, 2016, Vinh was sentenced to five years in a Hanoi court under Article 258 of the 1999 Criminal Code for "abusing democratic freedoms;" Thuy was sentenced to three. Both maintained their innocence at trial. Their sentences were upheld on appeal on September 22, 2016. Vinh remains in prison, while Thuy was released on May 5, 2017 after completing her sentence. 

Vinh's wife reported health issues in late 2015; Vinh was suffering from symptoms possibly indicative of liver and blood diseases. 

Vinh has been denied reading materials and his communications and family visits restricted while imprisoned.

Nguyen Huu Vinh is the son of a late government official. He is married. 

Just a day before Vinh and Thuy's trial, family and friends gathered to host a book launch of the bilingual Vietnamese-English "Anh Ba Sam" book.

March 2016:

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International demanded the charges be dropped leading up to Vinh and Thuy's trial.

September 2016:

Human Rights Watch called for the release of Vinh and Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy ahead of their appeal trial. 

June 2017:

Two German members of Parliament attempted to meet with Vinh in prison, but their request was denied upon arriving at the prison.

Vietnam bloggers: Nguyen Huu Vinh and Minh Thuy jailed, BBC News, March 23, 2016

Nguyen Huu Vinh & Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy, Vietnam, PEN America

The Committee to Protect Journalists' profile

Protests as Vietnamese blogger goes on trial for 'anti-government' posts, The Guardian, March 23, 2016

Defend the Defenders's archives

Profile last updated: 2018-05-10 13:17:43