Police Detain Three Independent Journalists, Confiscating Their Equipment during Workshop on East Sea in Hanoi

Workshop on the Vanguard Bank and the East Sea in Hanoi on Octobẻ 6, 2019

Defend the Defenders, October 6, 2019


On October 6, police officers from Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security detained three independent journalists named Le Dung Vova, Anton Tuan and Cat Linh during a workshop on the East Sea (South China Sea) in Hanoi.

According to independent journalist Le Trong Hung from the unsanctioned media CHTV in which the three detainees are also members, police officers from the ministry’s Security Investigation Agency took the trio to its office in Nguyen Gia Thieu street at lunchtime for interrogation.

In the police station, police officers questioned the trio separately about their media activities for hours and requested them to deleted all materials they had collected from the workshop. They confiscated eight cell phones, two cameras, and other equipment as well as documents from them before releasing them at 7 PM.

The workshop, held by the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research of the Hanoi National University in Cong Doan hotel in the capital city and open for the public, was about the Vanguard Bank and the East Sea. China has been sending Haiyang Dizhi 8 survey ship escorted by dozens of armed vessels to waters near the Vanguard Bank which is within Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone since early July this year. Vietnam has protested the Chinese aggressive moves, saying they violated its sovereignty in the resource-rich sea which is also very important for world navigation, with commercial goods worth $5.3 trillion are passed every year.

Vietnam’s communist regime has tightly controlled the local media and the country has been listed at the bottom of the World Press Freedom Index of the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders in years. Dozens of independent journalists and anti-corrupted reporters have been imprisoned or beaten for their brave articles.