News / Asia

    Vietnam Prepares for Trial of Another Online Activist

    FILE - A blogger who doesn't want to be identified, poses for photos with her blog on her computer screen in her home in Hanoi, Vietnam.
    FILE - A blogger who doesn't want to be identified, poses for photos with her blog on her computer screen in her home in Hanoi, Vietnam.
    VOA News
    Vietnam is set to open the trial of online activist Truong Duy Nhat on charges of violating the country's controversial new Article 258, which provides criminal penalties for "abusing freedoms to infringe upon the state's interests."

    Nhat is one of several bloggers to face trial in the past few months as Vietnamese authorities continue a crackdown on activists. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison.

    Tran Vu Hai, Truong Duy Nhat’s lawyer, says in an interview with VOA’s Vietnamese Service that his client is eager to go to court to present his arguments.
     
    “He said he had used the rights of a normal citizen such as freedom of speech to criticize the state and its leaders," he said. "Vietnam’s constitution writes that people have rights to supervise the [Communist] Party and the state, and one part of that activity is to assess and to be critical of the state in a constructive manner.”

    Hai said Nhat has urged domestic and foreign reporters as well as intellectuals to attend the trial to witness what is going on.

    Vietnam's government has not commented on Nhat's upcoming trial.

    Nguyen Lan Thang from Network of Vietnamese Bloggers says the government can’t continue to lock people up this way without consequences.

    “With predetermined sentences and all the political contrivances, those fighting for rights and justice in this country are the ones who suffer loss. Bringing blogger Duy Nhat to trial is unacceptable and an injustice, and many of his supporters in Vietnam are watching his trial very closely,” he said.

    Nhat has often criticized the government in Hanoi and raised concerns about China’s claims to maritime territory off the Vietnamese coast. He has also called for the resignation of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and others, accusing them of being responsible for what he described as Vietnam’s “uncontrolled corruption.”

    Phil Robertson, Asia Director for Human Rights Watch, says the trial demonstrates there is no decrease in Vietnam's determination to target people for peaceful criticism.

    He says, “This shows that the Vietnamese government are doubling their efforts to clamp down on any sort of freedom expression. ... His trial is part of the Vietnamese government's ongoing and frankly futile efforts to silence an increasingly strong community of Vietnamese bloggers. All this will do is create another political prisoner. The government should release him and all others who are jailed merely for disagreeing with the government and the party.”

    Blogger Dinh Nhat Uy was given a suspended 15 month prison sentence when he became the first blogger to be convicted under Article 258 last year. Several other online activists have gone on trial since then.

    Human Rights Watch reports 61 Vietnamese dissidents and activists were convicted and sentenced to prison in 2013, compared to about 40 such convictions a year earlier.


    Trung Nguyen also contributed to this report. This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service.

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora