Birth date: August 8, 1955
Activity: Mathematics lecturer, blogger
Date of arrest: August 13, 2010
Sentence: Sentenced to 3 years imprisonment (later reduced to 17 months) followed by 3 years house arrest on August 10, 2011. Release on January 13, 2012 to house arrest.
Charge: Attempting to overthrow the government (Article 79)
Current location: 423 Nguyen Tri Phuong, Ward 8, District 10, Saigon
Prior to being detained by Vietnamese security police on August 13, 2010, Professor Pham Minh Hoang was a lecturer in Applied Mathematics at the Ho Chi Minh City Polytechnic Institute. Educated and trained in France, he gave up a comfortable life abroad in order to return to his homeland to help the youth of Vietnam in the 1990s. He believed that the youth had been failed by an education system that had not progressed in the last decade. Outside of his work as a university professor, Mr. Hoang organized free courses on leadership skills for his students, hoping to empower and encourage young future leaders to serve the community.
There were two issues that particularly concerned him: the Vietnamese government’s decision to allow bauxite mining in the Central Highlands and China’s territorial ambitions in the South China Sea. He joined other human rights defenders and intellectuals to protest the mining project and attended a seminar in July 2009 in Saigon on the territorial disputes. Under the pen name Phan Kien Quoc, Mr. Hoang has written dozens of commentaries on issues such as human rights, environment, and corruption in Vietnam. Many of his writings are posted on his personal blog: http://pkquoc.multiply.com/.
Professor Hoang was tried in a 1-day trial on August 10, 2011 and sentenced to 3 years imprisonment (later reduced to 17 months) followed by 3 years house arrest under Article 79 (subversion). He was released on January 13, 2012 to house arrest.
Professor Hoang is married to Le Thi Kieu Oanh and has a young daughter.