Thursday December 08, 2022

Vietnam jails five journalists

October 31, 2021
Vietnam jails five journalists

HANOI: A Vietnamese court has jailed five citizen journalists for "abusing democratic rights", drawing sharp US criticism of the communist government’s crackdown on freedom of speech.

Vietnam’s hardline administration often moves swiftly to stifle dissent, jailing activists, journalists and any critic with large audiences on Facebook, which is widely used throughout the country.

Critics say the government has adopted a much tougher approach to dissent since Nguyen Phu Trong was re-elected as the Communist Party chief after a secretive congress earlier this year.

Five people working on an online citizen journalist news page were sentenced on Thursday by a court in Can Tho, a city in southern Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region.

Truong Chau Huu Danh, the founder of Facebook page Bao Sach, which translates as "The Clean Newspaper" and has posts on hot-button social issues and corruption, was jailed for four and a half years.

Articles by Danh -- a former journalist -- had "reactionary thoughts, going deep into content that is not suitable for the interests of the country", state-run Vietnam News Agency said, quoting court documents.