CIVICUS joins calls for the release of Vietnamese climate leader, Dang Dinh Bach and stand in solidarity with civil society in the frontlines of Vietnam’s just energy transition
We, the undersigned climate justice and human rights advocates worldwide, call for the immediate release of prominent environmental lawyer, Dang Dinh Bach, who is serving a five year prison sentence in Vietnam on trumped-up tax evasion charges after advocating for the country’s movement away from coal.
Bach has declared that on June 24, 2023 - the two-year anniversary of his arrest - he will go on a hunger strike to the death in defense of his innocence. In his own spirit of nonviolent and peaceful protest, we are launching in solidarity with him a relay hunger strike" joining him in solidarity in a relay hunger strike from May 24 through June 24, to raise awareness about this extreme injustice and call for his release. We are running out of time to address the climate crisis. Action is urgent, and across the world, steps are being taken to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and mitigate the impacts of climate change for future generations.
The Vietnamese government itself has committed to net zero emissions by 2050 and accepted a $15.5 billion deal to support a just transition to clean energy. But this cannot succeed with climate leaders like Bach in jail. Bach is one of four members of the Vietnam Sustainable Energy Alliance who were imprisoned in Vietnam, despite playing an instrumental role in the country’s ambitious climate commitments, indicating an ongoing and highly concerning trend.
Bach has dedicated his life to improving the health and well-being of marginalized communities throughout Vietnam and worked tirelessly to limit pollutants such as plastic, asbestos, and coal. “I have witnessed so many painful stories of poverty and terrible diseases that weigh on abused communities in Vietnam,” said Bach in a recent statement from prison. “They are deprived of their land and livelihoods and do not have opportunities to speak out for justice and the right to be human in the face of environmental pollution, especially in places with coal-fired power plants across the country.
In order to conceal the truth and threaten the voices of people, the Vietnamese authorities have arrested, convicted and unjustly detained environmental and human rights activists in defiance of national and international law.” This is why we, the global community, stand in solidarity with Bach through peaceful protest and call for his release, as well as an end to retaliation against government and civil society actors in Vietnam and around the world pushing for human rights and environmental justice.
Read the full letter here