March 18, 2019, The Vietnamese Magazine’s editorial board received an urgent message tonight from journalist Pham Doan Trang that the secret police have found her current residence and started to surveil the location.
Ms. Pham is a member of our editorial board and a founding member of our Vietnamese site, Luat Khoa online magazine.
From around the Tet celebration in February 2019, it had been brought to our attention that the secret police began to surveil the home of journalist Pham Doan Trang’s mother in Hanoi, Vietnam. Ms. Pham believed that the police was waiting for her to go back and visit her family during the Lunar New Year celebration so that they could arrest her like they did last year.
However, because she did not go back to Hanoi, the secret police utilized different methods, trying to locate her whereabouts.
As she recently published a book on public policy and the Special Economic Zones draft bill, they have pretended to be her readers, contacted her on social media, and asked if she could give them copies of her new book.
Those who helped deliver her books were followed, and hackers have attempted to gain access to Ms. Pham’s Facebook on numerous occasions.
Ms. Pham wrote on her personal Facebook tonight:
“If you hear, in the coming days, that I am involved in a traffic accident or suddenly got attacked somewhere, then it must be the planning and actions of the secret police. There would not be any ‘citizen actions’ that could have caused it.”
We strongly condemn the ongoing harassment and threats directed at our editorial member by the Vietnamese secret police due to the peaceful exercise of her human rights. These conducts are in direct violation of both Vietnam’s and international laws, and as such, they have put Ms. Pham in grave danger where both her physical and mental health have been negatively affected.
We, therefore, call on the relevant authorities of Vietnam to immediately intervene and cease the ongoing illegal surveillance and intimidation against Ms. Pham, investigate the unlawful individual conducts listed above, and prosecute those who have committed such crimes in accordance to the current legal standards in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese: On Our Second Anniversary
On November 8, 2017, the editorial board of The Vietnamese launched our website with only one purpose: to bring more information on human rights and the political situation in Vietnam to the international audience.
Two years ago, we realized that foreigners don’t really understand Vietnam and that that they don’t know what Vietnam’s politics are really like. They may not know that the sunny and relaxed place of tourism in the tropics has been controlled by a single political party for more than seven decades in the North and for more than 40 years in the whole of the country. The Vietnamese people live under an authoritarian state and so have no free and fair elections. They do not elect any of the leaders of their country because those leaders are selected behind closed doors by the Vietnamese Communist Party. Vietnam’s government is the type of regime that the Umbrella Movement was trying to avoid for Hong Kong people in 2014 when protests broke out.
As democracy activists, it has been a bit mind-boggling for us to see the world wholeheartedly support the rights of the people of Hong Kong but while just giving a pass to us Vietnamese – a people who also believe in democracy – who continue to suffer under an authoritarian regime.
It was then that we decided that we needed to write in English about Vietnam. We felt a need to bring the stories and the lives of those who suffer when their human rights are being violated by the state and to make these stories more widely seen within international communities.
For two years, we have been working mostly voluntarily to bring forward our magazine’s objectives. More importantly, we have brought out the stories of our people and our human rights activists to the world. It has been two years with not a lot of financial support, but it was also two years in which we received tremendous human resources for free. We know that we are heading in the right direction when more people reach out and try to work with us when we have no means to pay them. We believe that they are happy to contribute because they understand that the world needs to hear our voices. The good news is that in 2019, we were successful in raising enough funds to pay for our freelancers and we hope that more writers will join us since we issued our call for more pitches one month ago.
We thank you, our readers, for your support and belief in us. We thank you and call on writers to walk with us and realize our goal to be a platform to advocate for each and every Vietnamese individual’s human rights and democracy. We call on all of you to share and raise your voices for our dreams, our visions, and to support our daily struggle for Vietnam to become a democratic country where the rule of law and human rights are respected.
The Vietnamese: Call for Pitches
Dear Readers and Writers:
For the last five months, The Vietnamese has not been publishing regularly, something that you may have noticed. Our magazine was short on staff and it affected our publication. We are very sorry about any inconvenience it may have caused you. But here comes the good news.
Starting in September 2019, we have been back and starting to use a new working scheme for our publication. Now we are reaching out to freelancers to submit pitches and work on articles to be published on our platform.
As we have written in our mission statement for The Vietnamese, this magazine will be “a platform for each and every Vietnamese individual – who shares our dreams, our visions, and our daily struggles for a democratic country where the rule of law and human rights are respected – to raise their voice and bring their issues to the world stage.”
We have probably also noticed some of the same issues as many of you, that Vietnam’s human rights situation and political scene were not being demonstrated as clearly as we want them to be on the world stage. Many of the critical issues that Vietnamese people care and are concerned about were not discussed in English writings. And now, this is the time that you can submit your pitches and start writing about what concerns Vietnamese people the most in terms of human rights, democracy, and political concerns.
Please be aware that as a magazine, The Vietnamese quite often does not publish very time-sensitive or breaking news. We decide on pitches at our weekly editorial meetings, and so it may take up to at least one week to respond to your pitch. Once we accept a pitch, it typically takes two weeks to one month before it is published as our editorial team is also made up of freelance and part-time staff, which may delay our response time.
A few times a year, we will also be considering a specific call for pitches for certain themes and we will send out updates when there are such calls.
– US$200 for text (approximately 1,500 words for written pieces)
– US$200 for 7-10 minute (edited) video clips with English subtitles, US$150 for a recorded op-ed or interview.
Invoices should be submitted after the article has been published on our website. We are committed to paying timely and promptly.
Please answer all of these questions in an email to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
– What is your name?
– What section are you pitch to, is it written form or video?
– What’s your idea? (Please be as specific as you can.)
– Who could you talk to or have access to?
– What makes this story interesting or insightful?
– When can you submit the first draft?
– Will you submit photographs with the article that you or another person has taken?
– Please provide any links to your previous published articles or videos.
Pham Doan Trang Received Prize for Impact from Reporters Without Borders’ 2019 Press Freedom Awards
On September 12, 2019, our editor Pham Doan Trang had received the Prize for Impact from Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Awards 2019 in Berlin, Germany.
Trang was not able to travel and received her award in person. Instead, our editor Trinh Huu Long and also the editor-in-chief for Luat Khoa magazine was representing Trang to accept it.
Being her colleagues, The Vietnamese magazine’s staff is delighted and honored that Doan Trang received the Impact award. We have all been inspired and moved by her tireless efforts – as she stated – to make sure that “journalism is not a crime anywhere in the world.” Together with her, we all work for Vietnam to soon be a democratic country.
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