Vietnamese Facebooker Nguyen Thi Hue Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Online Posting

Facebooker Nguyen Thi Hue at trial on October 17, 2019

Defend the Defenders, October 17, 2019


On October 17, the People’s Court of Ia Grai district, Gia Lai province, convicted local Facebooker Nguyen Thi Hue on the charge of “abusing democratic freedom” under Article 331 of the country’s Criminal Code for her online posting.

Ms. Hue, 51, was arrested in early March this year. She was accused of using Facebook accounts named “Nguyễn Thị Huệ,” “Công Lý Về Tôi,” “Nguyễn Huệ,” “Vũ Quỳnh Hương,” and “Den Quang” to disseminate “wrong information” in the period between July 2017 and March 2019 to distort state leaders and local state officials who were dealing with her case.

She was also alleged of insulting local police officers and prosecutors when she came to their offices to file petitions for her case. However, the state media did not disclose what she had petitioned for.

The state media also reported that Ms. Hue was warned of causing public disorders in the Gia Lai province’s Office of Citizens’ handling” in late December 2016. On January 20, 2017, she was fined VND200,000 ($9) for the same accusation.

Meanwhile, Facebooker Duong Thi Lanh, who was sentenced to eight years in jail earlier this year on allegation of “conducting anti-state propaganda” under Article 117 of the Criminal Code, has refused to appeal the decision of the Dak Nong province’s People’s Court since she feels there are no fair hearings as the court system is controlled by the ruling communists.

There is an increasing tendency in which authorities in many Vietnamese localities are using allegations in the National Security provisions in the Criminal Code such as subversion, “conducting anti-state propaganda” and “abusing democratic freedom” to silence local activists and Facebookers.

So far this year, Vietnam’s communist regime has arrested 25 activists and Facebookers, and convicted 24 for online activists with imprisonment between one and 12 years in prison.

Vietnam is holding 234 prisoners of conscience, according to Defend the Defenders’ latest statistics. Hanoi always denies of holding prisoners of conscience but only law violators.