May 31, 2024

PRESS RELEASE: Global solidarity actions call for the release of prominent Vietnamese climate defender Hoang Thi Minh Hong on one-year arrest anniversary

One year ago today Hoang Thi Minh Hong, renowned climate leader and veteran activist, was arrested in Vietnam on false charges of tax evasion. A suite of actions aimed at drawing attention to Hong’s ongoing imprisonment honoring her work have taken place around the world from Taiwan, to Japan, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Kenya, and the Philippines.

Action summary here. Photos available here.

Upon arrest, Hong was denied access to a lawyer, healthcare, and basic needs, and was formally sentenced on September 28th 2023 to three years in prison and a fine of 100 million Vietnamese Dong.

Working closely with since the early days of the organization, in 2013, Hong went on to establish an affiliate organization called the Center of Hands-on Actions and Networking for Growth and Environment (CHANGE), playing an invaluable role in halting the development of coal-fired power plants in Vietnam and building out the climate justice movement for a clean, safe, renewable-powered future in the country.

Namrata Chowdhary, Chief of Public Engagement at says:

“As we mark the one year anniversary of Hong’s arrest, at this moment, I am struck by a deep symbolism at play. Just as Hong’s arrest is symbolic of the crackdown against climate activists in Vietnam, her undaunted, unwavering spirit is symbolic of the deep strength and resilience embodied by the climate movement. 

Vietnam’s embracing of its so-called ‘just’ energy transition partnership alongside the detention of its bravest climate defenders is a troubling symbol of justice being left in the corner. But today, the solidarity displayed for Hong across the world, and’s ongoing global campaign to “Free Hong, Free Them All” is a symbol of the respect and humanity that binds us so closely together. 

Hong is one of our own. We continue to demand the immediate release of Hong and all other climate defenders, and as a movement, we continue to fight alongside the bravest among us – our symbols of hope – to bring about the future we believe in.”

Hong is one of five environmental activists currently serving out sentences in Vietnam under similar circumstances: Mai Phan Loi, Dang Dinh Bach, Bach Hung Duong, and Nguy Thi Khanh were prosecuted and imprisoned in the recent crackdown on civil society and environmental activists in Vietnam. 

This wave of wrongful detention, silencing, and intimidation of climate defenders across the country, and many others around the world, is inextricable from the grassroots fight for climate justice, truth and freedom, and against the political-economic system that protects fossil fuel dependency.

Liangyi Chang, Asia Managing Director at says:

Today we mark one year since we learned of the unjust arrest of our dear friend, movement hero, and former colleague Hong. Through what can only be imagined as an immeasurably difficult twelve months past, Hong has not allowed this deliberate attempt at intimidation to break her spirit or dampen her resolve. Hong is a fighter, and today, we call on everyone to stand with Hong, her family, her friends, and her comrades around the world who continue to fight for justice.”

In December 2022, Vietnam entered a $15.5 billion Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) deal with the G7 countries as well as the EU, Norway, and Denmark – a partnership designed to support the country’s rapid transition away from coal. Hong’s work and that of other environmental campaigners in Vietnam was instrumental in the building out of climate awareness in the country, ripening the landscape for the energy transition deal. Without the involvement of civil society in its implementation, the deal has been fraught with unjust finance mechanisms – nearly 70% of Vietnam’s financing is made up of high-interest commercial loans – and a lack of transparency and accountability. 

“This wave of solidarity for Hong has been uplifting, inspiring, and indicative that together, there is nothing we can’t achieve with solidarity. By standing together, we demand the immediate release of Hong and all those who are unjustly detained for their bravery in Vietnam, in order to implement climate solutions on the ground and to lift the target of Renewable Energy for all. Free Hong, Free Them All.” stands today, and every day, with all climate defenders who have been unjustly imprisoned for their brave work in Vietnam and around the world.



Pascale Hunt

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+62 81236661189