Vietnamese Citizen Handed Two-Year Prison Term For Facebook Writings

2018-09-24
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The Facebook logo is shown on a screen in New York's Times Square in a March 29, 2018 photo.
The Facebook logo is shown on a screen in New York's Times Square in a March 29, 2018 photo.
AP

A Vietnamese citizen active on Facebook was sentenced on Monday by a court in Can Tho province to a two year and three month prison term for “abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the State,” state media reported on Sept. 24.

Doan Khanh Vinh Quang, who used the name Quang Doan online and was arrested on Sept. 1, had posted comments on his page described by authorities as having offended Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party and government.

Police had also discovered two flags of the former South Vietnam, defeated by the North in 1975, during a search of his house, authorities said, adding that Doan was also accused of having incited demonstrators during a mass protest in Can Tho on June 10.

On June 9 and 10, protests rocked major Vietnamese cities including Hanoi and Saigon, also called Ho Chi Minh City, as demonstrators challenged government plans to grant long-term leases for foreign companies operating in special economic zones (SEZs) and the adoption of a controversial cybersecurity law.

The protests prompted clashes with police that saw demonstrators beaten and an unknown number detained.

Two other Can Tho residents active on Facebook were meanwhile sentenced on Sept. 22 for “defaming” Vietnam’s Communist Party and State online, with Nguyen Hong Nguyen receiving a two-year term and Truong Dinh Khang receiving a one-year term, media sources said.

Vietnam, with a population of 92 million people, of which 55 million are estimated to be users of Facebook, has been consistently rated "not free" in the areas of internet and press freedom by Freedom House, a U.S.-based watchdog group.

Dissent is not tolerated in the communist nation and authorities routinely use a set of vague provisions in the penal code to detain dozens of writers and bloggers.

Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by An Nguyen. Written in English by Richard Finney.

Comments (1)
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Hate Communist

from get bac Ho

How can one abuse democratic freedom?
So which part of the word free - dom that I fail to understand?
If there is restricted freedom, then why don't you ignorant goons inform the people?
Then, you add the word democratic in front of it, as if you truly understand the meaning of that word too!
Please, your party can't see pass your nose so don't pretend as if you can run a country. We know what happened between 1975-1990! Your party was so craft that it turned VN into the Drk Age!
Who hasn't forgotten the coal bus, and the frail farmers in front of the plow vs the buffalo!

Sep 25, 2018 04:27 PM

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