FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9 DECEMBER 2021
The 2021 Le Dinh Luong Human Rights Award is presented to Father Dang Huu Nam
Viet Tan is pleased to announce that the 2021 Le Dinh Luong Human Rights Award — with the theme “Lending a Hand During the Pandemic” — is presented to Father Dang Huu Nam.
Established in 2018, the Le Dinh Luong Human Rights Award recognizes individual activists or organizations for their record of human rights advocacy and notable forms of activism. Le Dinh Luong was sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Vietnamese communist authorities in October 2018. The award honors the sacrifices and work of individuals or organizations who are fighting for the civil and human rights of the Vietnamese people.
This year’s award ceremony will be held on December 11, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Below is a summary of Father Dang Huu Nam’s activities:
Father Dang Huu Nam is from Do Thanh Commune, Yen Thanh District, Nghe An Province and was ordained a priest in 2008. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Father Dang Huu Nam started a “Kitchen for the Poor” to support those in quarantine with necessities, and launched the “Vegetables for 0 Dong” project, which transported tons of water spinach from the central region of Vietnam to the south to aid the poor; this helped struggling vendors as well as people in need.
In the past, Father Nam participated in emergency relief efforts to help flood victims re-establish their livelihoods through programs such as “Warm Winter” and “0 Dong Chicken”. Father Nam is also known for his efforts after the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation marine environmental disaster in 2016 that caused hundreds of thousands of fishing families to lose their source of livelihood. In September 2016, he led a delegation of over 600 people to the court of Ky Anh, Ha Tinh Province to file a lawsuit against the Formosa Corporation to demand compensation for those impacted.
Father Nam’s aid efforts have been replicated in multiple areas of Vietnam. Because of his courageous actions, Father Nam has long been seen as a thorn to the communist authorities. State media has launched a series of smear campaigns on him, and plainclothes police have repeatedly beaten and threatened him. In June 2020, Father Dang Huu Nam was forced into retirement.
Nevertheless, for many years before and now during the pandemic, Father Nam has demonstrated his tireless dedication to human rights, social justice, and religious freedom. We congratulate Father Dang Huu Nam and thank him for his valiant humanitarian efforts.
We would also like to thank the distinguished members of this year’s selection panel: artist Nguyen Kim Chi, activist Libby Liu, journalist Nancy Bui, professor Allen Weiner, and professor Pham Minh Hoang.
For more information, please contact Duy Hoang: +1 202-596-7951
To view the PDF version of this statement, click here.