UPDATE: At 12:45 p.m. on December 31, 2021, Vietnam sentenced Le Trong Hung to five years in prison plus five years on probation. His wife, Do Le Na, was not granted access to the courthouse.
December 31, 2021 - Vietnam is trying Le Trong Hung, a citizen journalist, under Article 117 of the 2015 Penal Code for propagandizing against the state today. Hung intended to run for the National Assembly earlier this year, but the government arrested him in March 2021, two months ahead of the general election.
Hung has been working as a citizen journalist for the last four years. As reported by his wife, Do Le Na, Hung worked for Chấn hưng Việt Nam TV (CHTV) which he was also a founding member.
According to The 88 Project, Le Trong Hung is “an independent journalist with a long history of activism. He is one of a few journalists (alongside other members of CHTV) within the country that dare to be involved in grassroots issues and land disputes with the authorities. CHTV has been a target of state media since 2018.”
Hung’s trial was supposed to start on December 16, 2021, but it was rescheduled to December 31, 2021, because of a schedule conflict, his wife reported.
The 88 Project said further that Hung was working with land rights victims and provided information for them to seek justice in Vietnam’s legal system throughout the years.
Do Le Na, who is legally blind, has to care for their two children during his detention. She has petitioned international human rights organizations and foreign diplomatic officers to seek justice for her husband. The petition can be viewed here. She also applied with the court to be at her husband’s public trial, but the government did not respond to her requests.