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

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid