Three Vietnamese journalists go on trial over reporting

The trials are the most recent in an ongoing crackdown on dissent forward of a key ruling social gathering assembly this month.

Three distinguished Vietnamese journalists resist 20 years in jail after they go on trial in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, accused of spreading propaganda in opposition to the state, human rights teams stated.

Pham Chi Dung, Nguyen Tuong Thuy and Le Huu Minh Tuan – all distinguished members of the Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam – are as a result of seem within the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City charged with “making, storing, spreading information, materials, items that contain distorted information about the people’s government”.

“These journalists are being persecuted and brought to trial because they have exercised their rights of free speech, free press and freedom of assembly,” representatives of Luat Khoa journal and The Vietnamese journal, stated in a joint assertion.

The arrests are the most recent in a seamless crackdown in opposition to political dissidents, activists and different impartial voices because the ruling Community Party prepares for its National Congress this month.The high-level assembly takes place each 5 years and dozens of individuals have been detained, in keeping with human rights teams.

The Communist Party’s National Congress takes place each 5 years {File: Kham/Pool Photo by way of AP Photo]

“The Vietnamese government claims to respect democracy, but that’s a lie,” Human Rights Watch’s deputy Asia Director Phil Robertson stated in an announcement. “Democracy dies without freedom of expression and the press, and the work of independent journalists like these three who dare expose malfeasance and demand reforms to end abuse of power.”

Pham Chi Dung, 54, who has taken half in anti-China demonstrations and led campaigns in assist of human rights, was arrested in November 2019 shortly after signing a joint letter urging the European Union to delay the approval of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement till Vietnam improved its human rights report. The letter was printed in Voice of America web site.

69-year-old former military veteran Nguyen Tuong Thuy was recognized for his work to assist political prisoners and land rights defenders. He was arrested in May 2020 and his household say that in interrogation he smashed his cell phone on the ground somewhat than reveal the password to police.

Le Huu Minh Tuan, 31, wrote below the pen identify of Le Tuan on subjects together with the Hong Kong protests and civil society in Russia and was arrested in June 2020.