Monday, September 17, 2012

Blogging is Hazardous in Vietnam

Government fascism rears its ugly head again – this time in Vietnam. BBC News reported on September 13, 2012 that Vietnam's prime minister has hit out at three blogs critical of the government, ordering that those behind them be ''seriously punished''. A statement on a government website said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung had ordered police to investigate and take action against those responsible. He has even ordered civil servants not to read the blogs, which he said, had "agitated against... the state".

Media in Vietnam is state-owned and operates under strict regulations. 

Three blogs – including the popular Dan Lam Bao (People Doing Journalism) and Quan Lam Bao (Officials Doing Journalism) – were named in the government statement.

Human Rights Watch has accused the Vietnamese government of jailing dozens of bloggers and peaceful activists. 

On July 30, 2012, the mother of a prominent blogger died after setting herself on fire to protest against the detention of her daughter, Ta Phong Tan (left) – a former police officer who wrote Cong Ly va Su That (Justice and Truth), a blog that addressed social justice issues and who is among a group of bloggers facing charges of conducting propaganda against the state.

On a visit to Hanoi in that same July month, the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, mentioned the Free Vietnamese Journalists' Club, while saying she remained concerned about a lack of online freedom and the jailing of Vietnamese journalists, bloggers, lawyers and dissidents for peaceful expression in the one-party state. As usual, the US government makes righteous noises but nothing is expected to come of it.

No comments: