Vietnam: Labor activist Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung released after 9 years of detention
"Vietnam: Labor Activist Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung Released from Prison," 27 February 2019
Washington, D.C.: Freedom Now and Woodley & McGillivary are pleased to announce that Vietnamese labor rights activist Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung was released from prison on February 24, 2019 after spending nine years unjustly imprisoned.
Greg McGillivary, managing partner with the law firm Woodley & McGillivary which represented Nguyen pro bono, stated that “Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung spent nine years in a Vietnamese prison for peacefully organizing garment workers. The government must allow workers and advocates to organize and it must stop violating fundamental international labor rights such as freedom of association.”
Nguyen and his colleagues Doan Huy Chuong and Do Thi Minh Hanh were arrested in February 2010 after the three tried to organize striking workers at a shoe factory and circulated a list of the workers’ demands. Authorities held the activists for eight months before eventually charging them under Vietnam’s controversial national security laws. Just ten days after being charged, the activists were prosecuted—without the assistance of legal counsel and without the right to speak in their own defense—and sentenced to between seven and nine years in prison. They were subjected to solitary confinement and beatings, and suffered from ill-health as a result of the mistreatment and poor prison conditions. After more than three years of imprisonment, Ms. Do was released early in June 2014. Doan was released in February 2017 after the completion of his seven year prison sentence.
In 2013, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that the imprisonment of Do, Doan, and Nguyen violated Vietnam’s obligations under international law and called for their release. The Working Group’s opinion came in response to a petition filed by Freedom Now and Woodley & McGillivary.