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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

Dang Dinh Bach's Two-Year Anniversary Arrest: Calling for Justice and Freedom



📅 June 24th, 2023 marks the solemn two-year anniversary of the arrest of Dang Dinh Bach, a dedicated lawyer and environmentalist who tirelessly campaigned to reduce Vietnam's reliance on coal. As we reflect on this significant date, we are reminded of Bach's unwavering commitment to climate activism and the urgent need to secure his release.


🌱 Who is Dang Dinh Bach?

Dang Dinh Bach, commonly known as Bach, is a prominent environmental justice lawyer in Vietnam. He has been a relentless advocate for marginalized communities, working tirelessly to protect their health and well-being in the face of environmental challenges. Bach gained recognition for his leadership in the campaign to reduce Vietnam's reliance on coal, a critical step toward a more sustainable future.


⚖️ The Troubling Trend: Arrested on False Charges

On June 24, 2021, Bach found himself in a situation similar to Hoang Thi Minh Hong's, a prominent climate activist arrested this May, being charged with "tax evasion" allegations. This disturbing trend, employed by the Vietnamese government to suppress climate activists, highlights a concerning pattern of targeting environmental defenders with fabricated charges. Such actions not only violate their rights but also hinder progress toward a sustainable and equitable society.


🚨 Vietnam’s Shameless Disparity: Financial Support for Clean Energy To Be Granted Amidst Climate Activist Silencing

The recent allocation of $15.5 billion by the Group of Seven (G7) to support Vietnam's Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) is undeniably significant in facilitating Vietnam's transition to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. However, the blatant truth of the suppression of leading climate activists by Vietnamese authorities like Bach and Hoang lies within this financial aid.

Their cases serve as a stark reminder of the injustices endured by those who dare to advocate for a better environment.


🌍 A Call for Action: Stand with Bach, Demand Justice

Today, on this significant anniversary, we once again raise our voices in solidarity with Dang Dinh Bach. We urgently call upon the Vietnamese government to immediately release him and recognize the importance of his work in achieving a just energy transition.


🌐 The United Nations Speaks Out

The United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (the "Working Group") has recently issued an opinion on Bach's case, declaring that the Government of Vietnam arbitrarily detained him and calling for his immediate and unconditional release. The Working Group's findings shed light on the violation of Bach's rights, including a fair trial, freedom of expression, political opinion, assembly, and freedom of association. Furthermore, the arrest and deprivation of Bach's liberty were deemed discriminatory and directly linked to his environmental advocacy.


The Working Group's opinion also highlights the concerning trend of using tax evasion charges to prosecute environmental defenders in Vietnam. These charges, as determined by the Working Group, do not align with international standards and have been found to encourage self-censorship and stifle crucial debates on matters of public interest. The findings of the Working Group offer hope and support to other defenders who have been unjustly detained under similar circumstances.


💡 Solidarity Hunger Strike: Joining the Global Movement

In the wake of the Working Group's opinion, an international coalition of climate justice and human rights organizations has initiated a relay hunger strike in solidarity with Bach. Starting on June 9, 2023, Bach himself commenced a hunger strike, joined by over 100 organizations during May and June. This solidarity hunger strike, carried out in the spirit of peaceful protest, aims to draw attention to climate justice and advocate for the release of all environmental defenders detained in Vietnam.


#WeAreManushyan ♾ Equal Human Beings


✊🏼 At Manushya Foundation, we stand firm in our commitment to Bach's cause and advocate for a free and empowered civil society that can drive a just energy transition. Join us as we fight for justice, freedom, and a world where environmental defenders can operate without fear of persecution.


📣 Together, we can make a difference and amplify the message of justice. Show your support for Bach by using the hashtag #StandwithBach on social media platforms. Let's unite in our efforts to raise awareness and demand justice for environmental defenders like Bach, who strive to protect our planet and create a more sustainable future for all.



References




While you’re here…


➡️ Learn more about how we #StandwithBach and advocate for his release from jail:



➡️ Learn more about our work on Climate Justice and how we advocate for a Just Transition:

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