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Mother Mushroom

Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh is known as “Mother Mushroom” for her brave advocacy for human rights in Vietnam. Quỳnh began blogging about social issues in Vietnam in 2006 and was soon targeted by communist authorities for exposing corruption and human rights abuses. Arrested then released in 2009, she defied the authorities and continued to write. In late 2016 she was given a 10-year jail sentence for “propagandizing against the state.” Denied legal representation, she went on a hunger strike. On October 17, 2018, after a two-year campaign of international pressure, she was released to the United States, where she was reunited with her two children and elderly mother. She was awarded the Victims of Communism Human Rights Award in 2019.