Imprisoned Vietnamese Journalist Named Winner of CPJ Press Freedom Award — Radio Free Asia
Imprisoned Vietnamese freelance journalist and activist Pham Doan Trang has been selected as one of this year’s winners of the International Press Freedom Prize by the US-based media watchdog, the Committee for the Protection of journalists.
Trang, who co-founded the liberal publishing house without registering with the Vietnamese government, is serving a nine-year sentence for “spreading propaganda against the state”. Before his arrest in October 2020, Trang worked to promote press freedom in Vietnam, despite tight controls in the one-party communist state. Authorities held her incommunicado for more than a year before she was sentenced in a one-day trial in December 2021.
“Our honorees exemplify the best in journalism: work that highlights the impacts of war, corruption, and abuse of power on daily life,” CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg said in a statement. statement released Thursday. “We look forward to honoring these inspiring journalists, who demonstrate the central role journalism plays in serving the public good.”
Prior to her arrest, Trang specialized in human rights reporting and co-founded the independent online legal magazine Louat Khoa. She has also written for the independent English-language website The Vietnamese and reported for the exile-run blog Danlambao.
In June, Trang received the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders. Her mother, Bui Thi Thien Can, accepted the award at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland, on her behalf.
Trang faced government repression for many years until authorities decided to jail him for a false verdict, said CPJ Senior Southeast Asia Representative Shawn Crispin, based in Bangkok, Thailand.
“Above all, Trang is a journalist and at the same time she is an active activist [seeking] to protect and advance the free press in Vietnam,” he told RFA.
Part of the reason for giving the award to Trang is to draw attention to Vietnam and use his case to draw attention to the risks journalists face there, he said. .
“And it is that the number of journalists imprisoned in the country is abnormally high,” Crispin added.
CPJ has observed and collaborated with Trang in his advocacy for press freedom in Vietnam, Crispin said.
The group has consistently named Vietnam one of the world’s worst jailers of journalists in its annual list of jailed reporters and editors around the world. CPJ documented at least 23 members of the media behind bars in Vietnam in 2021.
“The award is once again to affirm the international community’s recognition of Doan Trang’s efforts for the development of independent media and democratization in Vietnam as well,” said Trinh Huu Long, editor-in-chief of Louat Khoa.
The Vietnamese Communist Party and the government should view press freedom as a prerequisite for reform and governance to advance the nation’s development, she said.
“They need to see independent journalists, free journalists, as partners in nation building, and no longer see them as enemies,” Long said.
The other three laureates are Niyaz Abdullah, a prominent freelance journalist from Iraqi Kurdistan; Abraham Jiménez Enoa, freelance Cuban journalist and co-founder of the online narrative journalism magazine El Estornudo; and Sevgil Musaieva, editor-in-chief of Ukraine PravdaUkraine’s first independent online newspaper.
“All four have withstood immense challenges, including government repression, aggression and imprisonment to get the public to report independently amid rampant disinformation and warfare,” the report said. communicated.
Galina Timchenko, managing director and editor-in-chief of the independent Russian news site Meduza based in Riga, Latvia, will receive this year’s Gwen Ifill Prize for Press Freedom, said CPJ.
The awards ceremony will take place on November 17 in New York.
Translated by FRG Vietnamese. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.