Viet Nam

Vietnam: Release environmental lawyer and rights defender Dang Dinh Bach

© Stand with Bach Campaign


Together with more than 80 other human rights organisations, the Observatory for the protection of human rights defenders (FIDH-OMCT) calls for the release of environmental lawyer Dang Dinh Bach, who has been arbitrarily detained on trumped-up tax evasion charges in retaliation for his legitimate human rights activities since 24 June 2021.

Dear Supporters of a Just Energy Transition and Sustainable Development in Vietnam,

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.

We urge all governments, multilateral institutions and others invested in a just energy transition for Vietnam to 1) insist on Bach’s release; and 2) demand that civil society in Vietnam is welcome to participate meaningfully in this process that is so crucial for the future of the region and the planet.

We must act now to safeguard Bach’s life, as well as Vietnam’s ability to successfully transition away from coal and mitigate the impacts of climate change.


  1. ACAT Germany (Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture)
  2. Accountability Counsel
  3. Abibinsroma Foundation
  4. Africa Coal Network
  5. Agency for Turkana Development Initiatives (ATUDIS)
  6. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  7. Alliance for Empowering Rural Communities
  8. ACAT Belgium (Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture)
  9. Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development
  10. Both ENDS
  11. Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association
  12. The Bretton Woods Project
  14. Building and Wood Workers International (BWI)
  15. Community Resource Centre
  16. Center for Constitutional Rights
  17. Climate Action Network Australia
  18. Community Empowerment and Social Justice Network (CEMSOJ)
  19. Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
  20. Clean Air Action Network of Glens Falls
  22. Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED)
  23. Climate Action Network Southeast Asia
  24. Environmental Defender Law Center
  25. EarthRights International
  26. Equitable Cambodia
  27. ENLAWTHAI Foundation (EnLAW)
  28. Ecosistemas
  29. EcoAlbania
  30. Earthlife Africa
  31. Friends Against Dictatorship (FAD)Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung
  32. FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
  33. Federal Association of Vietnamese Refugees in the Federal Republic of Germany
  34. Friends of the Earth Japan
  35. Friends of the Earth United States
  36. Friends of the Earth Asia Pacific
  37. Focus on the Global South
  38. GongGam Human Rights Law Foundation
  39. Grassroots Foundation (Germany)
  40. GegenStrömung
  41. GroundWork, Friends of the Earth, SA
  42. Global Witness
  43. Global Network of Movement Lawyers at Movement Law Lab
  44. Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI)
  45. International Rivers
  46. Inclusive Development International
  47. International Service for Human Rights
  48. Indigenous and Local Communities for the Sustainable Management of Forest
  49. Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPALEAC)
  50. Indigenous Peoples Partnership
  51. International Accountability Project
  52. Indigenous Women Legal Awareness Group (INWOLAG)
  53. Indus Consortium for Humanitrain Enviorment and Development Inittiatives
  54. Jamaa Resource Initiatives
  55. Just Ground
  56. Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES)
  57. Kiko Network
  58. KRuHA
  59. Manushya Foundation
  60. Mekong Watch
  61. Market Forces
  62. Malaysian Youth Delegation
  63. NGO Forum on ADB
  64. Not1More
  65. Oil Change International
  66. Oyu Tolgoi Watch
  67. Observatori DESCPowerShift e.V.
  68. Protection International (PI)
  69. Policy research institute for Equitable Development
  70. Programme Intégré pour le Développement du Peuple Pygmée au Kivu (PIPD)
  71. Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER)
  72. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum
  73. Pro Public
  74. Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network PENGON-Friends of the Earth Palestine
  75. Quê Me: Vietnam Commi9ttee for Human Rights (VCHR)
  76. Rivers without Boundaries Coalition
  77. Reality of Aid-Asia Pacific
  78. Recourse
  79. Rivers without Boudaries Mongolia
  80. RAPEN environtment protection associations and nature network
  81. Sierra Leone Land Alliance
  82. Sustainable Development Institute
  83. Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG)
  84. The Bretton Woods Project
  85. Urgewald
  86. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders