Candidates and Voting
Nguyen Quang A

Nguyen Quang A

By following official rules and procedures, Mr Quang A shows the limits of political freedoms in Vietnam.

Since 2013, Vietnam has had a new Constitution, one which enshrines human rights for its citizens. However, there exists a gap between the rights that are written down in the Constitution and the reality of life in Vietnam. Mr. Nguyen Quang A reveals this gap by his actions. In practice, freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution are severely limited by administrative procedures and repressive actions by the authorities. This encourages and promotes self-censorship by the Vietnamese population. Through online intimidation and harassment the authorities attempt to discredit and discourage citizens from demanding their legitimate rights. However, Mr Quang A refuses to self-censor himself and stands up for his rights. For instance, he tried to run for the National Assembly as an independent candidate. His failure to get through the vetting process raised legitimate questions about the level of democracy in Vietnam. It should be noted that expressing dissent is highly unusual in Vietnam. Mr Quang A refuses to bow to implicit and explicit pressure. However, Mr Quang A is increasingly experiencing harassments such as limitation of his movements, intimidation of family members and he was recently even temporarily detained on several occasions.

His work becomes more visible in unofficial media in Vietnam and reflects a level of courage that is rare. Mr Quang A is able to inspire a large number of young people through his online and offline activities. His success in claiming rights results in greater opportunities for other citizens to do the same, thereby supporting a nation-wide change for better respected human rights. 

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This profile is based on the information shared in the nomination form.
Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.