14 October 2016
Since October 2012, Freemuse has campaigned for the release of Vietnamese musician Hoang Nhat Thong, who remains in prison as of October 2016.
Hoang Nhat Thong (real name: Tran Vu Anh Binh) was sentenced to a six-year prison sentence in October 2012 and a further two-year house arrest sentence upon release for “anti-state propaganda”, related to his production of songs by Viet Khang (real name: Vo Minh Tri) that criticised the country’s violent response to anti-China peaceful protests, as well as his own songs expressing concerns over a lack of social justice in Vietnam and the dictatorship of the government.
Binh founded the Patriotic Youth movement in April 2011 to advocate for democracy and religious freedom, as well as Vietnamese sovereignty over China’s influence. He also ran a blog where he posted songs and articles advocating peaceful protest.
Binh was arrested in September 2011, alongside Khang and another movement member, and was held for 13 months in pre-trial detention before his sentencing, even though Vietnamese law limits such detention to a maximum of four months. Binh remains in prison today. Khang, who was sentenced to four years in prison and two years of house arrest was released and returned to his family in December 2015.
Police have harassed Binh’s family, threatening that his treatment will grow harsher if they talk about his case to foreign media, yet they, along with many supporters, continue to advocate for his release.
More on the state of popular music and censorship in Vietnam
More on the release of Viet Khang
Freemuse sends appeal letter to president of Vietnam
This letter was sent with carboncopy to The Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on Culture, the EU, The Swedish Embassy in Vietnam, The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Danish Ambassador to Vietnam and Ifex
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