Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh (“Mother Mushroom”)
Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh, better known by her pen name “Mother Mushroom,” is a Vietnamese human rights activist and blogger and a 2019 recipient of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s Dissident Human Rights Award for her bravery and her advocacy for human rights in Vietnam. She has covered the Vietnamese government’s human rights violations for 15 years, starting with her coverage of patients unable to receive treatment because they couldn’t bribe their doctors. She has been arrested numerous times for exposing unjust government practices. In 2017, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for “spreading propaganda against the state,” but was released after persistent calls for her release from the global community. She was awarded the International Women of Courage Award by First Lady Melania Trump in March of 2017.