diaCRITICS News & Events: March 5, 2018

Socio-cultural, literary, and political news and events relating to Việt Nam and to the Vietnamese diaspora.


Viet Stories: Vietnamese American Oral History project at the University of California, Irvine announces the opening of VIET STORIES: Recollections and Regenerations, an art, history, and oral history exhibition in the Rose Hills Foundation Gallery at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California from February 17, 2018 to May 28, 2018.VAOHP - Viet Stories

Danh Vo: Take My Breath Away, New York Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, February 9 to May 9, 2018. Danish artist Danh Vo dissects the public forces and private desires that define individual experience and that the self is plural and inherently fluid, yet decisively shaped by larger power structures.Take My Breathe Away

News from the Diaspora

Under Trump’s aggressive anti-immigrant policy, thousands of Vietnamese Americans are now at risk of deportation.

Nguyen family

Two men raped and burned Quyen Ngoc Nguyen alive before “taking a grinning selfie as they drove away from her blazing body.”

Quyen Nguyen's family

Once a child victim of war, Kim Phuc now helps other children victims of war around the world.

Kim Phuc

A group of Vietnamese teenagers who entered the UK illegally remain missing.

Missing Vietnamese teens

News from Việt Nam

Vietnam’s brutal acid attack epidemic continues due to lack of acid regulations and punitive law against the act.

Acid attack

Undercover investigation by Tuoi Tre reporters discovered an organized group that steal dogs for dog meat.

Dog thief

Timothy Bui and Derek Nguyen‘s movie, The Housemaid (Cô Hầu Gái) , will be re-made into an American movie. [Review: “gorgeous exoticism marvelously enhances”]

House Maid movie

The Vietnam Integrity School (VIS) teaches students “about integrity, transparency and anti-corruption efforts.”

The Vietnam Integrity School

Yes, Tết is over. But, you can re-live it through this delightful music video,Thế là Tết, written by Tiên Cookie and performed by Đức Phúc and Hoà Minzy.


CPV General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s anti-corruption program may be consolidating dictatorial power and consequently setting back the country’s prospects for democratization.

CPV General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong


    Distress Message from the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam :
    Pham Doan Trang was Internet writer, journalist, human rights defender, founder of the ‘’Luat Khoa’’, a banned online law and human rights magazine, member of the editorial board of The Vietnamese, an independent news website aiming to raise public awareness on politics and human rights in Viet Nam. She has also worked for major Vietnamese media agencies such as VnExpress, VietNamNet, Vietnam Weekly, HCMC Legal Daily and the English language website Vietnam Right Now. She also ran a well-read personal blog. On 28 August 2009, Pham Doan Trang, editor of weekly online magazine Viet Nam Weekly, was arrested for investigation into possible violations of national security, according to the foreign ministry spokeswoman. Pham Doan Trang allegedly had written an article on 27 July criticizing the conduct of Vietnamese leaders during the partition of the country in 1954. In the past, she had written articles criticizing Chinese territorial claims in the East Sea (China called South China Sea). Along with Bui Thanh Hieu, an imprisoned blogger (pen-name Nguoi Buon Gio), Pham Doan Trang was released on the eve of a visit to Australia and New Zealand by the Vietnamese Communist Pary chief Nong Duc Manh. She was released without charge after several days in detention. She was also author of a book on Viet Nam’s LGBTI community’s demands for equal rights. Then in 2012, after being arrested and interrogated, she published a recording of her interrogation and was resultantly forced to temporarily leave the country. She returned to Vietnam in January 2015. And she remains under surveillance. However, she continues to write against the lack of freedom, the corruption, the despotism of the political regime, and the government’s backing of a highly controversial Bauxite mining project in the Central Highlands, which has been tendered to a Chinese company. In 2015, she was brutally beaten by security forces while participating in a peaceful demonstration to protest Hanoi’s plan to chop down thousands of aged trees in the city’s center. Her legs are still in pain from the injury caused by the assault. Police brutality and inhuman prison conditions failed to stop her writing and her work on an environmental disaster in central Viet Nam in 2016. In May 2016, she was kidnapped by public security police when she was on her way to a meeting between the former American President Barack Obama and civil societies in Hanoi. On 16 November 2017, Pham Doan Trang was arrested by police after attending a meeting with the European Union Delegation in Hanoi to discuss human rights issues ahead of the EU – Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue, scheduled for 1 December 2017. After being kept incommunicado without access to legal representation, Pham Doan Trang was released.
    Pham Doan Trang was known as one of the bravest and most literate voices in Viet Nam under repression, intolerance and discrimination. Pham Doan Trang has said that she will not leave the country. She vowed to stay in Viet Nam, despite the communist party’s persecution, to work for human rights and multi-party democracy. On 13 February 2018, Prague-based Rights group People in Need said it would present Homo HOMINI Award to Pham Doan Trang for the courage she employs while tirelessly pursuing a democratic change within her country, despite constant harassment and persecution.
    New situation : great risk of re-arrest and arbitrary detention
    On 24 February 2018, Pham Doan Trang was arbitrarily arrested by the public security police. She was abducted from her mother’s house in Hanoi at 2pm by force to the police post to be interrogated about her book, entitled “Chinh Tri Binh Dan” (Politics for All / Politics for the Masses) recently published in abroad, which is outlawed in Viet Nam and includes sections on democracy and political ideology. As a reminder, about ten days ago, some packages of her book were intercepted and confiscated by the post office of Da Nang city. The confiscation was quickly announced in official media. Pham Doan Trang was brought back home after 10 hours, at midnight, but has been asked to “work” with the security police in the coming days. The police warned her to not try to escape. Electricity and Internet are cut off from the house. Pham Doan Trang informed fellow activist Trinh Kim Tien via the phone about the critical situation. As of Sunday February 25, several human rights defenders in Hanoi are being closely watched. These are the signs that a serious investigation is ongoing against Pham Doan Trang, and that she faces great risks of imminent re-arrest and arbitrary detention. Pham Doan Trang published a bilingual ultimate letter on her Facebook page to thank those who support her and assert her commitment. Pham Doan Trang has repeated that she will not leave the country. She vowed to stay in Viet Nam, despite threats of violence and persecution from the authorities. She decided to work for human rights, dignity, freedom and democracy in her native land.
    On 27 February 2018, Pham Doan Trang left her mother’s home in Ha Noi and went into hiding despite heavy public security police’s surveillance.
    Press Release from Independent Centre of Vietnamese Writers (in Exile) & Vietnamese League for Human Rights in Switzerland. GVASGN 03.03.18.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here