FEP calls for Pham Doan Trang to be released

FEP calls for Pham Doan Trang to be released

The Federation of European Publishers (FEP) has called for the release of arrested Vietnamese publisher Pham Doan Trang and is demanding politicians intervene.

Trang, pro-democracy campaigner and co-founder of Liberal Publishing House, which won this year's Prix Voltaire, was arrested in Ho Chi Minh City on 6th October.

She faces up to 20 years in prison after being charged with “making, storing, disseminating or propagandising information, materials and products that aim to oppose the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam".

According to Amnesty International, which first raised alarm she could be in danger back in June when she was accused of “anti-state propaganda”, the publisher is at imminent risk of torture.

In a response, the FEP noted that Vietnam has signed a trade agreement with the EU which still needs to be ratified by national parliaments.

The organisation, which represents 29 national associations of publishers, has now written a letter to European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombroskis and a number of MEPs.

FEP president Peter Kraus vom Cleff wrote: “Europe must put at the centre of its engagement with third countries the respect of freedom of expression including the freedom to publish books even if they are critical of power. We very much count on you to intervene and to support the civil society in Vietnam and call for Pham Doan Trang to be released.”