Vietnam Blogger Phan Kim Khanh to Face Trial on Oct. 25

2017-10-13
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A Vietnamese man reads online news with his laptop at a coffee shop in downtown Hanoi, in file photo,
A Vietnamese man reads online news with his laptop at a coffee shop in downtown Hanoi, in file photo,
AFP

Student activist and blogger Phan Kim Khanh will go on trial later this month on charges of “propaganda against the state,” a controversial article of the country’s penal code used to target dissidents, his lawyer said on Friday.

"Today I’ve received the decision which says Khanh will go on trial on the morning of October 25.  I met him and he seemed to be in good mood but his health is weak," said defense lawyer Ha Huy Son.

Khanh, 24, from Phu Thọ province, was arrested on March 21 and for posting online content that authorities described as fabricated and malicious and aimed at to spreading propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, said Vietnamese state media at the time. Blogger Bui Hieu Vo, 55, of Go Vap district in Ho Chi Minh City was arrested on the same charges on March 17.

Democracy advocate Khanh had administered two blogs called Bao Tham Nhung (Corruption Newspaper) and Tuan Viet Nam (Vietnam Week) since 2015.

He also maintains three Facebook accounts—one for Báo Tham Nhũng and two others called Tuan Bao Viet Nam (Vietnam Weekly) and Dan Chu TV (Democracy TV), as well as two YouTube channels for Viet Bao TV and Vietnam Online.

A senior student of the Faculty of International Studies of Thai Nguyen University at the time of his arrest, Khanh he posted anti-corruption writings against party and government leaders on his two blogs.

Khanh and Vo were arrested on the charge under article 88 of the Vietnam Penal Code, part of the broadly-worded national security section of the 1999 Penal Code that rights groups and Western governments say Vietnam uses to persecute dissidents. They carry lengthy jail sentences or even life imprisonment in some cases.

According to Lawyer Son, Khanh’s family has not been allowed to visit him since his arrest and they don’t know anything about him other than information passed on by Son.

After his arrest, he was taken to Cam Son 1 detention center in Thai Nguyen province.

There are at least 84 prisoners of conscience in Vietnam, including bloggers, labor and land rights activists, political activists, ethnic and religious minorities, and advocates for human rights and social justice who have been convicted after unfair trials or are held in pretrial detention, according to a July 2016 report on Vietnamese political prisoners issued by London-based Amnesty International.

Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by Emily Peyman. Written in English by Paul Eckert.

Comments (3)
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anonymous

from saigon

I think Viet Nam in some sense is a "free" country. The US's "freedom" means following people around and isolate people and make people look crazy, and forcing people to conform to the US's "crappy white values." If that makes Asia feels any better, we aren't having fun over here either

Oct 24, 2017 11:25 PM

Hate Communist

from ghet bac Ho

In a sense, you are right about the part that we don’t have that much freedom in US either. Yes, we still have (to name a few) to pay taxes (Federal, state and town), obey every street light, can’t drive while intoxicated (at certain level), rise up according to the clock so to get on work on time, but these are the necessary evils. Think about this, the giant economic wheel in USA isn’t turning without us doing our parts. USA isn’t on top of ‘the food chain’ because it has lazy citizen.
Also, I’m not sure of your description on us ‘Asian’ over here, but with all the fiber in my body – I don’t believe you have it right! Believe me, not all of us are doctors, lawyers, and ‘rich’ over here – just as you are in VN.
However; everyday; I’m praying for VNmese citizen to experience the freedom and resources that we have in USA. So hang in there and do the right things for VN.

Oct 27, 2017 11:02 AM

anonymous

from saigon

More unreasonable arrest. It's pretty ironic that the US "human right watch" "accuses the government for stifling dissents since the USA is doing the same thing. Always double standard and hypocrisy within the USA.

Oct 24, 2017 11:23 PM

Hate Communist

from ghet bac Ho

About a decade short of a century ago, our beloved revolutionary Nguyễn Thái Học and his compatriots bravely walked onto a guillotine platform and gave their lives for VN.
These are their final words…
“To die for one country is a glorious death. We are satisfied and our minds are free.”
While waiting for their turns, they also proudly and loudly shouted out…
“Viet Nam is forever!”
Let’s not forget the past and the ones who are now fighting for rights and justice. These are our heroes and their struggles are real as VN is vulnerable.
Let’s not be silence and happy with the status quote. We are more and far better than the communistic regime. Our visions aren’t their bleak views to obey or servitude to both Chinese and Russian.

Oct 17, 2017 09:54 AM

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