Mr Chau wears a jacket and glasses, and stands in front of the ocean.

Action launched for Australian prisoner of conscience, Chau Van Kham

Amnesty International Australia has today launched a new campaign for Vietnamese Australian prisoner of conscience Chau Van Kham who is serving a 12-year sentence for “terrorism” activities in Vietnam.

Trang Chau said her husband is in poor health and has been denied his lawyer of choice.

“In 2019, my husband decided to go to Vietnam to monitor the human rights situation on the ground. Within hours of arriving, he was arrested.

“Later that year, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison and the only ‘evidence’ presented by the authorities during the trial was his membership of a group called Viet Tan.

“I contacted Amnesty because I want to bring awareness to my husband’s case. My hope is to get help from anyone who reads this, to help bring my husband home,” Mrs Chau said.

“Amnesty is supporting Mr Chau’s family in calling for his immediate and unconditional release, so he can be reunited with them in Australia,” Amnesty International Australia Individuals at Risk Campaigner Rose Kulak said.


Mr Chau Van Kham, a Vietnamese Australian, was detained in Vietnam in January 2019.

A baker from Sydney, Mr Chau joined an unregistered Vietnamese overseas-based political party, Viet Tan, in 2010. In addition to advocating for democracy and human rights in Viet Nam, he also organised fundraising events for his organisation within the Vietnamese community in Australia.

Mr Chau was found guilty of “terrorism to oppose the people’s government” under article 113 of the 2015 Penal Code and sentenced to 12 years in prison by a Vietnamese court.

Up until his appeal, Mr Chau was being held in a detention centre. He was then moved to a new location without the knowledge of his family.

In June 2020, the family was informed he had been moved to Thu Duc prison, three hours from Ho Chi Minh City. A consular visit was also received around this time.