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On the night of October 6, 2020, at the conclusion of a virtual human rights meeting between the governments of the United States of America and Vietnam, Vietnamese police arrested the journalist and human rights activist Pham Thi Doan Trang at her home in Hanoi. Ms. Trang was arrested and detained for allegedly “conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam” and “making, storing, spreading information, materials, items for the purpose of opposing the State of Socialist Republic of Vietnam” — two of the most notorious of Vietnam’s fifteen national security offenses.

It would be a full year — during which time Pham Doan Trang was held incommunicado in detention — before she would meet her lawyers and receive her indictment in October 2021, despite the fact that the indictment itself is dated August 30, 2021. After a one-day trial on December 14, 2021, Ms. Trang was convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison — more than the seven to eight years recommended by the prosecuting authorities. Ms. Trang has since appealed. As of the date of this report, the court of appeals has yet to consider her appeal.