Facebooker Nguyen Van Phuoc Convicted of “Conducting Anti-state Propaganda” with 5-year Imprisonment

Facebooker Nguyen Van Phuoc


Defend the Defenders, October 31, 2019


On October 29, the People’s Court of An Giang province convicted local Facebooker Nguyen Van Phuoc of “Making, storing, spreading information, materials, items for the purpose of opposing the State of Socialist Republic of Vietnam” under Article 117 of the country’s Criminal Code for his online postings which criticize the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam and its government.

State media has reported that the 40-year-old Facebooker was sentenced to five years in prison for conducting live streams, posting and sharing articles on his page with the content distorting the socio-economic policies of the party and the government and defaming the country’s communist leadership in the period between 2016 and August 2018.

He was accused of contacting overseas “reactionaries” and making and disseminating flags of the US-backed Saigon regime which fell in 1975.

Phuoc was likely arrested on December 10, 2018. He is among 38 activists being held for or convicted of  “conducting anti-state propaganda” under Article 117 of the 2015 Criminal Code or Article 88 of the 1999 Penal Code, according to Defend the Defenders’ latest statistics.

He is the second activist being convicted for online postings this week. On October 30, the People’s Court of Ninh Kieu district, Can Tho City sentenced university lecturer Pham Xuan Hao to one year in prison on allegation of “abusing democratic freedom” under Article 331 of the Criminal Code.

With the new two convictions, Vietnam is imprisoning 209 activists on various controversial charges, mostly in national security provisions of the Criminal Code. The communist regime is also still holding 27 other activists in pre-trial detention which may last up to two years.