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.
ELAW, “UN Working Group Finds Imprisonment of Vietnamese Climate Leader, Dang Dinh Bach, Arbitrary and Calls for His ‘Immediate and Unconditional Release’”, (07 June 2023), available at: https://www.elaw.org/un-working-group-finds-imprisonment-vietnamese-climate-leader-dang-dinh-bach-arbitrary-and-calls-his
Manushya Foundation, #StandwithBach on the 1 year anniversary of Bach’s sentencing, (24 January 2023), available at: https://www.manushyafoundation.org/post/standwithbach-on-the-1-year-anniversary-of-bach-s-sentencing
While you’re here…
➡️ Learn more about how we #StandwithBach and advocate for his release from jail:
#StandWithBach ✊🏼 Manushya Joins the Hunger Strike in Solidarity with Bach and Calls For His Release, (14 June 2023), available at: https://www.manushyafoundation.org/post/standwithbach-manushya-joins-the-hunger-strike-in-solidarity-with-bach-and-calls-for-his-release
#StandWithBach ✊🏼Join the Hunger Strike In Global Solidarity, (31 May 2023), available at: https://www.manushyafoundation.org/post/standwithbach-join-the-hunger-strike-in-global-solidarity
#StandwithBach on the 1 year anniversary of Bach’s sentencing (24 January 2023), available at: https://www.manushyafoundation.org/post/standwithbach-on-the-1-year-anniversary-of-bach-s-sentencing
➡️ Learn more about our work on Climate Justice and how we advocate for a Just Transition:
Solution to Pollution is in mother nature, 22 April 2023
8 Facts about #ClimateJustice You Need to Know, 10 February 2023
All You Need to Know about our #WeAreJustTransitionMovement, 28 November 2022
News Release: Responsible governments and implicated companies must ensure safety and effective access to information of communities living near the Nam Theun 1 dam in Laos, 26 August 2022
#SaveSabWaiVillagers: Digital campaign supporting Manushya Foundation’s efforts on Sab Wai case.
News Release: Thailand: Stop Forced Evictions of 14 Sab Wai Villagers facing Extreme Poverty & Homelessness!, 5 August 2022
Complaint for Urgent Action for Protection of the 14 Sab Wai Villagers, facing human rights violations due to Thailand’s False Climate Solutions, 4 August 2022
News Release: Lao Government and Implicated Companies Must Deliver Justice For Survivors of 2018 Attapeu Dam Collapse, 26 July 2022
Follow-Up UN Complaint to seek Justice for the Survivors of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Dam collapse in Attapeu Province, Laos, 28 February 2022
#FightRacism - Thailand is a Paradise; But only for the 1%: Joint Shadow Civil Society Report on the Implementation of ICERD: Replies to the List of Themes CERD/C/THA/Q/4-8 105th CERD session (15 November - 3 December), 25 October 2021
Manushya Foundation’s Factsheet to inform Thailand’s Third UPR: Thailand's False Climate Solutions with Bad Forest Conservation Laws, 13 September 2021
Joint Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR): Land-related rights, forest conservation laws and climate change policies, 25 March 2021
Who Are Indigenous Peoples?, 8 August 2020
News Release: Thailand: End the unfair criminalization of land rights defenders in Sai Thong National Park, 19 June 2019
Submission of Urgent Action to 7 UN Special Rapporteurs: #SaveSabWaiVillagers from going to jail! The unfair criminalization of 14 villagers under Thailand’s Forest Reclamation Policy, 23 June 2019
Joint Statement: Human Rights Organisations urge Thai government to drop all charges against women land and human rights defenders in Ban Sap Wai community, 24 June 2019
News Release: Thailand: Ensure the provision of fair justice & effective remedy to land rights defenders unfairly criminalized in the Sai Thong National Park Case, 8 July 2019
Racial Discrimination in Thailand: Joint Civil Society Report: List of Themes to be considered by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) for the review of the combined fourth to eighth periodic reports of Thailand (CERD/C/THA/4-8), 2020