A court docket in Vietnam on Tuesday handed down jail sentences of greater than a decade every to 3 journalists discovered responsible of spreading propaganda towards the state.
Pham Chi Dung, Nguyen Tuong Thuy and Le Huu Minh Tuan, distinguished members of the Impartial Journalists Affiliation of Vietnam, had been charged with “making, storing, spreading info, supplies, objects that include distorted details about the folks’s authorities.” After a half day trial, Dung was given a 15-year jail time period, whereas Thuy and Tuan had been sentenced to 11 years in jail.
They wrote tales to “distort and defame the folks’s administration, infringe the pursuits of the Communist Occasion of Vietnam and state,” the Ministry of Public Safety mentioned in a press release.
Le Huu Minh Tuan (aka Le Tuan) penned articles on matters together with the Hong Kong protests and civil society in Russia. He was arrested in June 2020.
Vietnam is taken into account one of many international locations whose press is the least free. State oversight of the media is all the time tight. However management is reportedly being ratcheted up forward of the as soon as each 5 years Communist Occasion Congress to be held later this month.
“Even by its personal deeply repressive requirements, the severity of the sentences present the depths being reached by Vietnam’s censors,” mentioned Amnesty Worldwide deputy regional director, Emerlynne Gil.
“If the ruling occasion is so assured in its management, it ought to show its confidence by respecting civil and political rights, ending its tight management of the press, and permitting impartial journalists to freely voice their opinions as an alternative of silencing them with arrest and lengthy jail sentences,” mentioned Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
“Democracy dies with out freedom of expression and the press, and the work of impartial journalists like these three who dare expose malfeasance and demand reforms to finish abuse of energy,” the NGO mentioned on Twitter.
“Democracy dies with out freedom of expression and the press, and the work of impartial journalists like these three who dare expose malfeasance and demand reforms to finish abuse of energy.” – @Reaproy re Vietnamese journalists on trial for doing their jobs https://t.co/CJDKq8T1q1 pic.twitter.com/rKxasrz8jN
— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) January 5, 2021
🇻🇳 #Vietnam: Repression continues as 3 journalists from the Impartial Journalists Affiliation of Vietnam (IJAVN) had been convicted at this time after a half day trial – Pham Chi Dung (15 years), Nguyen Tuong Thuy (11 years) and Le Huu Minh Tuan (11 years). https://t.co/I5XIFixJdT pic.twitter.com/rkpOuxTpKd
— CIVICUS Monitor (@CIVICUSMonitor) January 5, 2021