Two journalists employed by official media are being held by police in central Vietnam’s Quang Tri province on costs of “abusing press freedoms” for posting articles on-line criticizing provincial leaders, state media and different sources say.
Phan Bui Bao Thy, 56 and bureau chief of the web journal Age and Training, and an affiliate, Le Anh Dung, 50, have been taken into custody on Feb. 10 after articles appeared on Fb pages the 2 males operated accusing provincial officers of corruption, police stated.
One article posted in August on Thy’s Fb web page accused Le Quang Than—deputy chairman of Quang Tri’s Huong Hoa district, and a member of the Huong Hoa Communist Social gathering Committee—of falsifying his academic credentials.
State media didn’t report the contents of the pair’s different allegedly defamatory on-line postings. On-line entry to Age and Training is now blocked.
Press freedoms group Reporters With out Borders (RSF) famous on Feb. 16 that on one website, Quang Tri 357, Thy had posted stories of alleged corruption involving the province’s president, Vo Van Hung, and deputy minister of tradition, tourism and sports activities, Nguyen Van Hung.
Thy will now be held for questioning for the subsequent two months, RSF stated, including, “The police, who carried out searches of his house, declare to have discovered a substantial amount of data associated to this actions as a web based reporter.”
In an announcement, Daniel Bastard—head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk—known as for Thy’s quick launch, saying “he was simply attempting to serve the overall curiosity in his work as a journalist.”
“His destiny highlights the straitjacket enclosing public media journalists in Vietnam, who’re persecuted as quickly as they stray from the official line imposed by the ruling Communist Social gathering’s propaganda division.”
“In so doing, the Vietnamese authorities violate article 25 of their very own structure,” Bastard stated.
Thy’s arrest got here 5 weeks after the sentencing by a Ho Chi Minh Metropolis courtroom of three impartial journalists—Pham Chi Dung, Nguyen Tuong Thuy, and Le Huu Minh Tuan—on costs of finishing up propaganda towards the state.
Different journalists jailed
Nguyen Tuong Thuy, who had blogged on civil rights and freedom of speech points for RFA’s Vietnamese Service for six years, was sentenced on Jan. to an 11-year jail time period for “making, storing, and disseminating paperwork and supplies for anti-state functions” underneath Article 117 of Vietnam’s Penal Code.
Sentenced with Thuy, Pam Chi Dung was given a 15-year jail time period, whereas Le Huu Minh Tuan was jailed for 11 years.
Reporters With out Borders ranked Vietnam 175 out of 180 in its 2020 World Press Freedom Index. Round 25 journalists and bloggers are being held in Vietnam’s jails, “the place mistreatment is widespread,” the Paris-based watchdog group stated.
Vietnam’s already low tolerance of dissent deteriorated sharply final yr with a spate of arrests of impartial journalists, publishers, and Fb personalities as authorities continued to stifle critics within the run-up to the ruling Communist Social gathering Congress in January.
Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by An Nguyen. Written in English by Richard Finney.