FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 9, 2024
MEDIA CONTACT: email@example.com
Today, in time for Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year which begins on February 10, the Vietnam Climate Defenders Coalition, a group of over 30 international climate justice and human rights organizations, launched this video in English and Vietnamese to honor the climate defenders in Vietnam who are wrongfully imprisoned and away from their families.
On February 2nd, Dang Dinh Bach (“Bach”), a lawyer and climate activist, announced a hunger strike from prison to protest his unjust treatment and stand up for his fellow prisoners. Bach was arrested after speaking out against coal and is serving a five-year sentence on trumped up charges of tax evasion. Prison conditions are harsh and there are concerns for Bach’s health.
Bach dedicated his life to protecting communities from harmful pollution, phasing out plastic waste, and supporting the Vietnamese government’s transition to clean energy. He co-founded and directed the Law and Policy of Sustainable Development Research Centre, a non-governmental organization that helped communities use the power of law to protect the environment and public health.
Climate defender Hoang Thi Minh Hong (“Hong”) is also in prison. Like Bach, Hong was helping Vietnam achieve a just energy transition when she was arrested. She has played an instrumental role in Vietnam’s progress toward a more sustainable future, championing wildlife preservation and founding CHANGE, an organization to mobilize young people on environmental issues.
The Vietnam Climate Defenders Coalition asks that the international community remember Bach and Hong during the sacred Tet holiday, do what they can to call for their release, and share this video in English and Vietnamese to spread awareness.
“My hope is that together we can bring good fortune this new year, so all of Vietnam’s people may have better years to come,” said Bach’s wife, Tran Phuong Thao, who will spend another holiday without her husband.