One of Vietnam’s most prominent dissidents, Doan Viet Hoat (born Dec. 24, 1942) was held as a prisoner of conscience in various detention, labor and re-education camps for almost 20 years. In a country tightly controlled by the state, his underground pro-democracy newsletter Dien Dan Tu Do (Freedom Forum) was among the few vehicles for independent reporting in Vietnam. It drew comparisons to the banned dissident literature of the former Soviet Union.
Doan’s ideals have earned him the high praise from various press freedom organizations. He received the Committee to Protect Journalists’ International Press Freedom Award in 1993, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in 1995 and the World Association of Newspapers’ Golden Pen of Freedom in 1998.