On June 10, 2017, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang signed a special order into effect that stripped French-Vietnamese mathematician and former political prisoner Pham Minh Hoang of his Vietnamese citizenship.
In the official letter, the government informed Hoang, 62, of its decision to revoke his nationality, citing Articles 88 and 91 of the country’s Criminal Code, which prohibit “conducting propaganda against the state” and “fleeing abroad or defecting to stay overseas with a view to opposing the people's administration." After receiving the letter, Hoang called the decision “invalid,” saying it violates the law on Vietnamese nationality, and pledged to fight for the right to live in his homeland. He has formally begun the process of renouncing his French citizenship in a bid to block the revocation.
Hoang is a Professor in applied mathematics at the Ho Chi Minh City Institute of Technology. He was previously arrested in Vietnam for his political writing and activism. In August 2010 Hoang was sentenced to three years in jail and three years of probation under Article 79, “subversion of administration”—one of many penal codes defined vaguely and used to detain and arrest political activists.
On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch Deputy Asia Director Phil Robertson said in a statement that the Vietnamese government’s action to strip Hoang of his citizenship “is nothing short of outrageous” and called for pressure on Hanoi to withdraw the decision.”
Endangered Scholars Worldwide is gravely concerned over Pham Minh Hoang's loss of citizenship. We call for letters, emails, and faxes respectfully urging authorities in Vietnam to reconsider this decision, to respect the responsibility to protect academic freedom and freedom of expression, and to refrain from imposing arbitrary restrictions on movement intended to limit or retaliate for the exercise of these freedoms.