Vietnam Arrests Activist Making Online Videos to Defame State Leaders

Mr. Nguyen Danh Dung from Thanh Hoa

By Defend the Defenders, December 18, 2016

Vietnam’s authorities have detained a resident from the central province of Thanh Hoa for posting online videos on social networks “defaming the country’s leadership,” state media has reported.

On December 16, police in Thanh Hoa arrested Nguyen Danh Dung and charged him with “abusing democratic freedoms” under Article 258 of the country’s Penal Code.

Dung, 29, will be held for at least three months for investigation, the VietnamNet newswire said.

If convicted, Dung will face imprisonment of between two and seven years in prison, according to Vietnam’s current law.

According to the police’s press release, Dung established and managed a Youtube account, Thien An TV, a blog, (Vietnam’s situations), and two Facebook accounts, “Thien An” and “Quachthienan,” in which he posted videos which allegedly “defame” leaders of the state and party.

He was said to collect materials from the Internet to create his own video clips, police said.

Vietnam has used a number of legal provisions such as Articles 79, 88 and 258 of the Penal Code to silence local dissidents, social activists and human rights defenders although the country’s 2013 Constitution grants rights to freedom of expression to citizens and the communist nation is a signatory state of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

In March, the communist government imprisoned prominent blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh (also known as Anh Ba Sam) to five years in prison and his assistant Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy to three years in jail for “abusing democratic freedoms” under Article 258. Mr. Vinh founded well-known news dissident website “Ba Sam,” which boasts millions of readers.

His imprisonment has been condemned worldwide.

Bắt đối tượng đăng tin bôi nhọ lãnh đạo Đảng, Nhà nước