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Thailand urged to respect Vietnamese blogger’s refugee status
15.03.2019 (RSF) - Following a Thai police raid two weeks ago on the home of Bach Hong Quyen, a Vietnamese blogger who fled his country and currently lives in Bangkok, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) fears that the Thai authorities could allow Vietnamese agents to abduct Quyen and urges them to respect his UN-guaranteed status as a political refugee.
Bach Hong Quyen, who has lived in Bangkok since May 2017, has been in hiding ever since the police came and questioned him at his home on 1 March. He fears that he could be arrested at any moment and deported back to Vietnam although his refugee status is guaranteed by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). [read more]

Vietnam: 6 Activists Headed to Prison
14.03.2019 (HRW) - (Bangkok) – Six Vietnamese activists and bloggers are facing long prison sentences for their peaceful opposition, Human Rights Watch said today. Vietnam’s government should immediately release the six, who are being prosecuted for peaceful political activities such as forming an association, expressing views on social media, and participating in public assemblies.
Five of them were tried in October 2018, for participating in a pro-democracy group, and sentenced to prison terms between 8 and 15 years. [read more]

RSF demande à la Thaïlande de respecter le statut de réfugié du blogueur vietnamien Bach Hong Quyen
14.03.2019 (RSF) - La police thaïlandaise a récemment perquisitionné le domicile du blogueur vietnamien Bach Hong Quyen, actuellement exilé à Bangkok. Craignant qu’elles ne se rendent complices de son enlèvement par des agents vietnamiens, Reporters sans frontière (RSF) appelle les autorités du royaume à respecter son statut de réfugié politique garanti par les Nations unies.
Il vit désormais comme un clandestin. Après avoir reçu la visite de la police thaïlandaise, venue l’interroger à son domicile le 1er mars dernier, le blogueur vietnamien Bach Hong Quyen, exilé à Bangkok depuis mai 2017, craint désormais chaque jour d’être arrêté et expulsé vers son pays. [en savoir plus]

#CollateralFreedom: RSF unblocks 22 sites censored in their own country
12.03.2019 (RSF) - To mark World Day Against Cyber-Censorship, celebrated on 12 March, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) announces that it is now providing alternative online access to a total of 22 media outlets that are blocked in their own country, in an operation launched in 2015 that has enabled millions of people to access freely reported news and information.
P1 - Collateral Freedom
The 22 news sites now being unblocked by #CollateralFreedom cover a total of 12 countries – including China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Vietnam – where the media are completely gagged by the authorities. This operation helps to inform citizens whose governments allow no press freedom. [read more]

Reporter ohne Grenzen entsperrt zensierte Medienwebsites
12.03.2019 (derStandard) - Die internationale Journalistenorganisation Reporter ohne Grenzen (ROG) hat anlässlich des Welttags gegen Cyber-Zensur am 12. März bekanntgegeben, dieses Jahr drei weitere staatlich zensierte Webseiten von Medienunternehmen entsperrt zu haben. Die "Operation Collateral Freedom" genannte Aktion habe bereits Millionen von Menschen den Zugang zu freien Nachrichten ermöglicht, hieß es am Dienstag.
Die insgesamt 22 entsperrten Nachrichtenseiten decken demnach insgesamt 12 Länder ab, darunter China, Saudi-Arabien, Iran und Vietnam. [Weiterlesen]

NGO Hits Back at Vietnam’s Denials of Rights Abuses
12.03.2019 (RFA) - Assertions by Vietnam that it protects civil freedoms and human rights in the one-party communist state were sharply rebutted on Monday by a monitoring group at a U.N. review of the country’s rights record held this week in Geneva, Switzerland.
Speaking on March 11 at a hearing of the U.N. Human Rights Committee, a Paris-based rights group said that a Vietnamese government report to the Committee this year obscures “glaring evidence” of state abuses.
“Much of the information in the report is obsolete,” Vo Van Ai--president of the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR)--told the U.N. Human Rights Committee, a body created to check U.N. member states’ compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. [read more]

Viet Nam: Prisoner of conscience suffers behind bars: Huỳnh Trương Ca
08.03.2019 (Amnesty International) - Prisoner of conscience Huỳnh Trương Ca is being held in conditions of detention that further violates his rights. He shares a small, unlit cell with four other prisoners and cannot leave the cell, not even for meal times. The only time he leaves the cell is once a month for family visits. He also suffers several illnesses, yet the prison authorities refuse to provide him with the medical treatment he requires. The Ministry of Public Security plans to move him to another facility far away from his hometown. We call on the Vietnamese government and its Ministry of Public Security to release Huỳnh Trương Ca immediately and unconditionally. [read more] - [View report in English]

RSF decries increase in Vietnam’s mistreatment of imprisoned journalists
07.03.2019 (Reporters Without Borders) - As the detained Vietnamese blogger and video reporter Nguyen Van Hoa continues a two-week-old hunger strike in protest against the beatings he has received in prison, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) announces that it is referring the increase in mistreatment of Vietnam’s imprisoned journalists to the United Nations special rapporteur on torture.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that a journalist who is in prison just for trying to inform his fellow citizens has been reduced to depriving himself of food in order to ensure respect for his most basic rights, including the right to physical integrity,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. [read more]

On International Women's Day, CPJ highlights jailed female journalists
07.03.2019 By Sarah Guinee/CPJ Patti Birch Fellow for Gender and Media Freedom (CPJ) - On International Women's Day, CPJ has highlighted the cases of female journalists jailed around the world in retaliation for their work. At least 33 of the 251 journalists in jail at the time of CPJ's prison census are women.
At least one of those--Turkish reporter and artist Zehra Dogan--was released in February after serving a sentence on anti-state charges. The four female journalists jailed in Saudi Arabia were detained over their criticism of the kingdom's ban on women driving. [read more]

Vietnam : RSF dénonce l’intolérable traitement réservé aux journalistes emprisonnés
06.03.2019 (Reporters sans frontières) - Incarcéré depuis plus de deux ans, le journaliste et vidéaste Nguyen Van Hoa a récemment entamé une grève de la faim pour protester contre les violences qui lui sont infligées. Face à la recrudescence des cas d’abus contre les journalistes emprisonnés, Reporters sans frontières (RSF) annonce qu’elle saisit le Rapporteur spécial des Nations unies sur la torture pour que cesse cette situation.
Il est absolument inacceptable qu’un journaliste, jeté en prison pour avoir simplement tenté d’informer ses concitoyens, en soit en plus réduit à se priver de nourriture pour faire respecter ses droits les plus élémentaires, à commencer par son intégrité physique, déplore Daniel Bastard, responsable du bureau Asie-Pacifique de RSF. [en savoir plus]

#FREE THEM ALL - Nguyen Van Hoa
01.03.2019 (Welt) - Im Jahr 2016 erschütterte eine der bis dato schwersten Umweltkatastrophen Vietnam: In der Ha-Tinh-Provinz hatte die Formosa-Stahlfabrik giftige Abwässer ins Meer geleitet. Etwa 200 Kilometer Küste wurden verschmutzt, mehrere Hundert Tonnen Fisch verendeten, die Gesundheit und Lebensgrundlage vieler Küstenbewohner waren bedroht. Der Bürgerjournalist Nguyen Van Hoa filmte die Umweltschäden – und die Proteste der Anwohner gegen das Verhalten der Regierung.
Die Staatsanwaltschaft machte ihm den Prozess wegen Verbreitung antistaatlicher Propaganda. Am 27. November 2017 wurde Hoa zu sieben Jahren Haft verurteilt, die Höchststrafe für das ihm zur Last gelegte Vergehen. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnamese bloggers under close watch during Trump-Kim meet in Hanoi
01.03.2019 (Reporters Without Borders) - Several Vietnamese bloggers were arrested or placed under close surveillance during this week’s talks in Hanoi between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns this latest harassment of Vietnam’s few remaining dissident voices.
“There is no justification for the arrests or surveillance of these bloggers aside from the Vietnamese regime’s obvious desire for total news control,” RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk said. [read more]

Sommet US-Corée du Nord à Hanoi: les blogueurs vietnamiens sous haute surveillance
01.03.2019 (Reporters sans frontières) - Plusieurs blogueurs vietnamiens ont été arrêtés ou mis sous surveillance durant le sommet diplomatique entre les Etats-Unis et la Corée du Nord à Hanoi. Reporters sans frontières (RSF) condamne fermement ces nouvelles pressions contre les dernières voix discordantes du pays.
“Rien ne justifie l’arrestation et la mise sous surveillance de ces blogueurs, si ce n’est une volonté manifeste des autorités vietnamiennes de verrouiller totalement l’information, déplore le bureau Asie-Pacifique de RSF. [en savoir plus]

Jailed Vietnamese Activist Goes on Hunger Strike Over Beatings by Police
28.02.2019 (RFA) - A Vietnamese activist serving a seven-year prison term for his role in protesting a chemical waste spill three years ago on Vietnam’s coast has entered the seventh day of a hunger strike calling for police officers and prison guards who assaulted him to be punished.
No action has been taken on petitions written by Nguyen Van Hoa denouncing his treatment, Hoa’s sister Nguyen Thi Hue told RFA’s Vietnamese Service on Thursday, two days after visiting Hoa at An Diem prison in south-central Vietnam’s Quang Nam province. [read more]

Hanoi summit cannot gloss over human rights atrocities in North Korea
25.02.2019 (Amnesty International USA) - As US President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un at a two-day summit on February 27 – 28 to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam, Francisco Bencosme, advocacy manager for Asia Pacific at Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement:
“Over a year ago, President Trump stood in front of Congress and pledged to challenge North Korea’s human rights record. Since then, President Trump has repeatedly disregarded the human rights of the North Korean people to gain favor with Kim Jung-un. His silence in the face of relentless and grave human rights violations has been deafening. [read more]

US Lawmakers Urge Trump to Push Vietnam on Rights Record During North Korea Summit
22.02.2019 (RFA) - Three U.S. lawmakers have called on U.S. President Donald Trump to raise human rights issues with officials in Vietnam when he travels to the one-party Communist Southeast Asian nation next week for a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
In a letter dated Feb. 19, U.S. House of Representatives members Zoe Lofgren, Chris Smith, and Alan Lowenthal—co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam—expressed concerns that Hanoi is hosting the second U.S.-North Korea summit scheduled for Feb. 27-28, given Vietnam’s poor rights record. [read more]

Detained Female Activist Duong Thi Lanh Charged with “Anti-state Propaganda,” Facing Lengthy Imprisonment
21.02.2019 (Defend the Defenders) - Authorities in Vietnam’s Central Highlands province of Dak Nong have officially charged local female activist Duong Thi Lanh with “conducting anti-state propaganda,” around two weeks after detaining her without arrest warrant, Defend the Defenders has learned.
According to a notice of the province’s Police Department to her family, she will be held in the next three months for investigation on the allegation of “Making, storing, spreading information, materials, items for the purpose of opposing the State of Socialist Republic of Vietnam” under Article 117 of the 2015 Penal Code. [read more]

Vietnam to Try Democracy Activist Le Minh The on Allegation of Abusing Democracy Freedom on March 6
20.02.2019 (Defend the Defenders) - Authorities in the Mekong Delta hub of Can Tho will soon try democracy advocate Le Minh The on charge of “Abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the State, lawful rights and interests of organizations and/or s” under Article 331 of the country’s Penal Code.
According to a notice of the People’s Court of Binh Thuy District sent to his family, the court will hold the first-instance hearing on March 6 in its headquarters in the district. The notice has not mentioned who will be his lawyer and it is likely he will be tried without having his own lawyer.
Mr. The, 56, was arrested on October 10 last year due to his participation in peaceful protest and posts on his Facebook account Lê Minh Thể. He has been held incommunicado since then in a temporary detention facility under the authorities of the district Police Division. [read more]

Jailed Vietnamese Activist Deemed by Authorities to be Serving Sentence 'Badly'
19.02.2019 (RFA) - Jailed Vietnamese activist Hoang Duc Binh has been declared by prison authorities to be serving his prison term “badly” by refusing to confess his guilt or accept his sentence, his brother told RFA’s Vietnamese Service on Tuesday.
The judgment, delivered in an official notice signed by Col. Tran Ngoc of the An Diem Prison in Quang Nam province, and received by Binh’s relatives on Feb. 14, has resulted in harsher treatment for Binh, who is already suffering from rashes and failing eyesight from being held in a dark cell, Hoang Duc Nguyen said. [read more]

Jailed Vietnamese Democracy Advocate to Submit Complaint to Court Over Appeal Filing
11.02.2019 (RFA) - Vietnamese democracy advocate and blogger Phan Kim Khanh, who is serving a six-year jail sentence for “spreading propaganda against the state” will submit a complaint to his local court after officials there failed to respond to an appeal he previously filed, his mother said Sunday.
The 25-year-old student was arrested in March 2017 for “abusing rights to freedom and democracy to do harm to the state’s interests and those of organizations and individuals” and was sentenced to six years in jail and four years of probation. [read more]

Investigation ordered into disappeared Vietnamese blogger in Bangkok
08.02.2019 (Bangkok Post) - BANGKOK: The Immigration Bureau promised on Thursday to investigate the disappearance of a dissident Vietnamese journalist believed to have been abducted at the northern Bangkok Future Park mall two weeks ago.
Truong Duy Nhat, an anti-regime activist and contributor to Washington-based Radio Free Asia disappeared the day after he was granted refugee status by the Bangkok office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
According to Amnesty International, witnesses have stated that Nhat was abducted from Future Park on Jan 26, the day after he had registered at the UNHCR office. [read more]

Thailand: Vietnamese journalist 'seized at a shopping centre'
06.02.2019 (Amnesty International UK) - Responding to the announcement by Radio Free Asia that one of their contributors, Truong Duy Nhat, was reportedly abducted in the city of Bangkok in Thailand, Amnesty’s Senior Director for Global Operations, Minar Pimple, said:
“Truong Duy Nhat’s disappearance is deeply alarming. He is a former prisoner of conscience who was repeatedly targeted by the Vietnamese authorities. We know from several sources that he travelled to Bangkok to claim asylum. No-one has seen or heard from him since 26 January. [read more]

Well-known Vietnamese blogger missing in Bangkok
06.02.2019 (RSF) - Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Thai authorities to shed all possible light on the disappearance of Truong Duy Nhat, a famous Vietnamese blogger who went missing in Bangkok on 26 January, one day after going to the local office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to apply for refugee status.
Nhat’s disappearance is all the more disturbing because he is widely respected as a blogger, even within certain circles of the ruling Communist Party in Hanoi. Bui Thanh Hieu, a blogger who has found asylum in Germany, wrote on Facebook that he suspected that Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc may have ordered Nhat’s abduction. [read more]

Vietnam: vers une nouvelle année de répression?
05.02.2019 (Libération) - L'Action des chrétiens pour l'abolition de la torture appelle Emmanuel Macron, lors de son prochain voyage en 2019, à améliorer l'état de droit au Vietnam où toute opposition est actuellement terrassée par les autorités vietnamiennes.
Il est fort à craindre que 2019 soit placée sous le signe d’une répression accrue par les autorités, qui s’acharnent à terrasser toute opposition dans le pays.
Depuis 2016, l’étau se resserre sur les défenseurs des droits humains vietnamiens, avec une accélération des arrestations et des condamnations lourdes. [en savoir plus]

Vietnamese Democracy Advocate Moved to New Prison Far From Home
29.01.2019 (RFA) - Prison authorities in central Vietnam’s Quang Binh province have moved a jailed member of the online advocacy group Brotherhood for Democracy to a new prison in Thanh Hoa province seven hours’ drive to the north, sources said.
Nguyen Trung Truc, now serving a 12-year prison term on a charge of subversion, was transferred last week without his family’s knowledge, Truc’s son Nguyen Quang Trung told RFA’s Vietnamese Service on Monday. [read more]

Verlieren die Vietnamesen das Internet? (Video)
28.01.2019 (ARTE TV) - Vietnam ist ein bisschen wie China: Die Liberalisierung der Wirtschaft brachte dem Land große Dynamik, doch das politische System bleibt autoritär und zentralistisch. Die Kommunistische Partei Vietnams entscheidet allein über das Schicksal des Landes und lässt keinen Platz für Kritiker. Allein 2018 wurden mindestens 55 Internetnutzer verhaftet. Im selben Jahr forderten Aktivisten in einem offenen Brief Mark Zuckerberg auf, sich nicht der Zensur der Partei zu unterwerfen. Doch sie stießen beim Facebook-Chef auf taube Ohren. [Weiterlesen]

Les Vietnamiens vont-ils perdre Internet ? (Video)
28.01.2019 (ARTE TV) - Le Vietnam, c’est un peu comme la Chine : la libéralisation de son économie en a fait un pays dynamique, mais le système politique demeure autoritaire et centralisé. Le Parti communiste vietnamien, qui n’apprécie guère les critiques, surveille étroitement les réseaux sociaux. En 2018, 55 internautes au moins ont été arrêtés. La même année, une trentaine d’activistes écrivent à Mark Zuckerberg pour lui demander de ne pas céder devant la censure du Parti. Mais Facebook fait plutôt la sourde oreille. [en savoir plus]

Vietnam Arrests Two More Democracy Advocates
25.01.2019 (RFA) - Vietnamese police have arrested two democracy activists, one an ethnic Vietnamese citizen of Australia, in an ongoing round-up of advocates for political reform in the one-party communist state, a Vietnamese dissident group said on Friday.
Nguyen Van Vien, a member of the banned Brotherhood for Democracy, and Chau Van Kham, a member of Viet Tan--an unsanctioned pro-democracy party with members inside Vietnam and abroad--were taken into custody on Jan. 13 in Ho Chi Minh City, according to a Brotherhood for Democracy statement on Jan. 25. [read more]

Japan must stand with Vietnamese human rights activists
24.01.2019 Teppei Kasai (HRW) - As Vietnam’s largest bilateral donor, Japan is in a unique position to raise human rights issues
For Vietnamese activist Nguyen Chi Tuyen, it was supposed to be just another day in Hanoi. In the morning, he dropped off his son at elementary school and was driving his motorbike home when a group of masked men surrounded his car. Nguyen, known as Anh Chi, was beaten and left unconscious at the scene. The 2015 attack left his face swollen, and his dark grey shirt covered in even darker blood stains. His experience is hardly unusual.
For people who see Vietnam as a peaceful Southeast Asian destination filled with affordable delicacies and lively markets, this may be surprising. But less visible to the average visitor is a far more inconvenient reality: an abyss where nearly 100 million Vietnamese people are regularly robbed of their basic freedoms of expression, association, assembly, and religion. This is primarily because for decades the Communist Party has run an unchecked one-party state. [read more]

Chau Van Kham, Australian citizen and pro-democracy activist, detained in Vietnam
24.01.2019 By Erin Handley and Emilia Terzon (ABC News) - Australian authorities have confirmed Australian citizen and pro-democracy activist Chau Van Kham has been detained in Vietnam.
A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) released a statement confirming the department had sought consular access to an Australian man detained in Vietnam, but for privacy reasons were unable to provide further details.
The family of Mr Chau feared the 70-year-old retired small businessman from Sydney had been arrested after they lost contact with him almost two weeks ago. [read more]

Vietnam jails man for 14 years for attempting to overthrow state
23.01.2019 (Reuters) - HANOI - A court in Vietnam has jailed a man for 14 years for attempting to overthrow the state, in cahoots with a group based in the United States, the Ministry of Public Security said on Wednesday.
Phan Van Binh, 47, was accused by the court of working for a California-based group called the Provisional National Government of Vietnam, which opposes the ruling Communist Party, the ministry said in a statement on its official news website. [read more]

Vietnam artists seek 'liberation' from cybersecurity law
18.01.2019 Author Sonia Sarkar (DW) - Vietnamese authorities have recently passed a law requiring social media censorship of "anti-state" content. Dissident artists and activists fear that their space for expression and protest will soon vanish.
Mai Khoi (pictured above) is not afraid to push boundaries in her native Vietnam. The 35-year-old musician is known for criticizing the country's communist government and has built a large following on social media. Her latest album "Dissent" features titles like "Cuffed In Freedom" and "Re-education Camp."
"Re-Education Camp highlights how the communist government forcibly puts people into jails and controls free speech. It also suggests that the people who created these camps should be in jail," she said. [read more]

Vietnam: Intensifying Rights Crackdown
18.01.2019 (HRW) - (New York) – Vietnam intensified its systemic suppression of basic civil and political rights during 2018, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019.
“Vietnam’s escalating crackdown and increasingly harsh prison sentences reveal an effort to try to break the will of those campaigning for reform, but the strategy is backfiring as more people demand their rights,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. “International donors and trade partners should publicly support these brave rights defenders.” [read more]

Vietnam's 'Cybersecurity' Law Says Little on Security - Law Focuses More on Fighting Anti-Government Speech
10.01.2019 Suparna Goswami (DataBreachToday) - The so-called cybersecurity law actually speaks little about IT security measures and instead focuses on various prohibited acts, such as spreading information that opposes the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
It appears to cover all enterprises that provide services on telecommunication networks and the internet in Vietnam. It requires these companies to authenticate users upon registration and keep their information confidential, according to a report by Baker Mckenzie, a multinational law firm.
Cleary, Vietnam's new law compromises privacy and free speech in the name of national security. [read more]

EU: Postpone Vote on Vietnam Free Trade Agreement - Rights Demands Not Met; Intensifying Crackdown
10.01.2019 (HRW) - (Brussels) – The European Parliament and the European Council should postpone the ratification of the proposed EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement until the Vietnamese government takes concrete steps to improve its increasingly abusive human rights record, Human Rights Watch said today. In Vietnam’s latest move to restrict rights, a new draconian cybersecurity law went into effect on January 1, 2019.
“Rushing through approval of the free trade agreement with Vietnam would be a grave mistake,” said John Sifton, Asia advocacy director. “It would reward Vietnam for doing nothing, and send a terrible message that past European Union pledges to use trade as a tool to promote human rights around the globe have no credibility.” [read more]

Jailed Vietnamese Environmental Activist in Declining Health - Brother
09.01.2019 (RFA) - Jailed Vietnamese activist Hoang Duc Binh is suffering back pain, rashes from poor hygiene and failing eyesight from being in a dark cell in a prison in Quang Nam province, his brother told RFA’s Vietnamese service on Wednesday.
“About two days ago, I received a letter in the mail from Binh telling me that he has his rash again and his back pain has come back and the conditions are getting worse while all medication sent from the family seems not to work,” said his brother Hoang Nguyen. [read more]

Latest Count: Vietnam Holds 244 Prisoners of Conscience
03.01.2019 (NOW! Campaign) - According to the NOW! Campaign, an initiative involving 14 international and Vietnamese civil society organizations, the government of Vietnam is holding at least 244 in prisons or similar forms of detention compared to 165 cases in November 2017, when the campaign was launched. This makes the country the second largest jailer of dissidents in Southeast Asia, only behind Myanmar.
The above number includes 224 who have been convicted, typically of political crimes such as “propaganda against the state” and “injuring the national unity,” and 20 others who are held in pre-trial detention. In addition, eight persons who participated in peaceful protests in mid-June of 2018 were given between five months and two years of suspended prison terms. [read more]

Vietnamese Activist Given Five-Year, Six-Month Prison Term for Defaming Government
28.12.2018 (RFA) - Vietnamese democracy activist Huynh Truong Ca was sentenced on Friday by a court in southern Vietnam’s Dong Thap province to a five-year, six-month prison term for criticizing the country’s communist government in a series of online postings, state media and other sources said.
A member of the Hien Phap Group, a network of activists calling for rights to freedom of speech and assembly guaranteed by Vietnam’s constitution, Ca was arrested in September after calling on social media for public protests, sources said. [read more]

Vietnam Court Rejects Activist’s Appeal of Lengthy Subversion Sentence
26.12.2018 (RFA) - A court in Vietnam on Wednesday threw out an appeal by Vietnamese activist Nguyen Trung Truc, a member of the online Brotherhood for Democracy advocacy group, against his 12-year jail sentence for subversion.
During morning proceedings that lasted just under three hours, the appeals court in the central coastal city of Da Nang upheld a September decision by a lower court in Quang Binh province ordering Truc, 44, to spend 12 years in prison and a subsequent five years under probation for activities “aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration,” under Article 79 of Vietnam’s penal code. [read more]

Vietnam: How Facebook is being abused to silence critics in Germany
21.12.2018 (RSF) - Facebook is being systematically abused to censor Vietnamese bloggers living in exile. According to the information available to Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in the last few months the social network has repeatedly deleted posts and also blocked the accounts of such individuals due to alleged violations of its “Community Standards”.
“Our research shows that the Vietnamese government is apparently using digital space to suppress critical voices outside the country as well,” said RSF Germany’s Executive Director Christian Mihr. “Those responsible must end these attacks and respect press freedom.” [read more]

Vietnam: Big Brother Is Watching Everyone
20.12.2018 (Human Rights Watch) - (New York) – Draft Cyber Security Decree Will Seriously Undermine Rights.
Vietnam should postpone the application of the Law on Cyber Security and revise it to bring it to conformity with international law, Human Rights Watch said today. The National Assembly passed this highly problematic law in June 2018.
“This cyber security law is designed to further enable the Ministry of Public Security’s pervasive surveillance to spot critics, and to deepen the Communist Party’s monopoly on power,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. “If this law is enacted, anyone who uses the internet in Vietnam will have zero privacy.” [read more]

Viet Nam: Police raid major meeting of local NGOs in alarming step-up of repression
19.12.2018 (WebWire) - Police in Viet Nam’s capital, Hanoi, shut down a major annual meeting of grassroots groups and non-government organizations (NGOs) this morning in an alarming step-up of the authorities’ repression of civil society, said Amnesty International.
“This is an absurd and shocking crackdown on a well-established, peaceful event. To use an arcane wartime decree about holding events in public spaces to stop a private gathering at a hotel is clearly unjustified and cynical,” said Minar Pimple, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Global Operations. [read more]

Vietnam: La policía irrumpe en importante reunión de ONG locales en un contexto de alarmante aumento de la represión
19.12.2018 (Amnistía Internacional) - Esta mañana, la policía ha puesto fin en la capital de Vietnam, Hanoi, a una importante reunión anual de ONG y grupos de base en el contexto de un alarmante aumento de la represión de la sociedad civil por parte de las autoridades, ha manifestado Amnistía Internacional.
“Ha sido una medida desconcertante y absurda, tomada contra un acto pacífico totalmente consolidado. Utilizar un arcano decreto de tiempos de guerra sobre la celebración de actos en espacios públicos para poner fin a una concentración privada en un hotel resulta claramente injustificado y cínico”, ha afirmado Minar Pimple, director general de Operaciones Globales de Amnistía Internacional. [seguir leyendo]

Viêt-Nam. L’opération policière contre un grand rassemblement d’ONG marque une inquiétante montée de la répression
19.12.2018 (Amnesty International) - À Hanoï, la capitale du Viêt-Nam, ce matin, la police a mis fin à un important rassemblement annuel d’associations et d’organisations non gouvernementales (ONG), ce qui marque une inquiétante montée de la répression exercée par les autorités contre la société civile, a déclaré Amnesty International.
« Il s’agit d’une opération de répression absurde et choquante menée contre un événement pacifique bien établi. Le recours à un obscur décret qui date de la guerre relatif à la tenue d’événements dans les lieux publics pour mettre fin à un rassemblement privé organisé dans un hôtel est de toute évidence cynique et injustifié, a déclaré Minar Pimple, directeur général des opérations mondiales à Amnesty International. [en savoir plus]

Vietnamese at Home and Abroad Present Eight-Point Petition Calling for Reform
19.12.2018 (RFA) - Vietnamese civil society groups and individuals based both in Vietnam and abroad called on their government in a petition on Wednesday to implement political reforms, guaranteeing basic rights to assembly and freedom of the press and freeing prisoners jailed for peacefully expressing their views.
The petition, titled “An Eight-Point Demand for 2019,” was sent to national leaders and to members of Vietnam’s National Assembly, and mirrors an eight-point petition presented to the 1919 Versailles Peace Conference by former Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh.
Included in the petition’s demands are calls for the release of political prisoners, reform of Vietnam’s legal system, guarantees for a free press and an end to censorship, the right to freedom of assembly and association, freedom of travel, and de-politicization of the country’s schools. [read more]

Vietnamesische Regimekritiker - Bei Facebook rausgetrickst
18.12.2018 Marina Mai (taz) - BERLIN taz | Facebook hat seit Jahresbeginn zahlreiche Beiträge vietnamesischer Nutzer gelöscht und Benutzerkonten gesperrt. Allen gemeinsam war, dass sie sich in ihren Posts kritisch mit der Regierung in Hanoi auseinandersetzen. Das hat die Organisation Reporter ohne Grenzen (RoG) recherchiert. Betroffen sind nach taz-Recherchen auch mindestens vier Vietnamesen aus Deutschland sowie je einer aus Belgien und Frankreich. Beschwerden der Betroffenen bei Facebook waren ins Leere gelaufen, bevor RoG sich eingeschaltet hatte.
„Unsere Recherchen zeigen, dass die vietnamesische Regierung offenbar den digitalen Raum missbraucht, um kritische Stimmen auch im Ausland zu unterdrücken“, sagte RoG-Geschäftsführer Christian Mihr. [Weiterlesen]

New religion-control law changes little in Vietnam after 1 year
18.12.2018 (World Watch Monitor) - Christian leaders in Vietnam largely agree that little has changed since the new Law on Belief and Religion came into effect January 1, 2018. Its potentially positive provisions are unevenly applied, and completely ignored in remote areas where ethnic minorities continue under heavy persecution and yet convert to Christianity.
The secular celebration of Christmas has grown exponentially in Vietnam in recent years. On 5 December the education department of Nha Be District in Ho Chi Minh City published a strong directive banning anything and everything Christmas in all public, private and tutoring schools. [read more]

Facebook accused of silencing critical Vietnamese bloggers
15.12.2018 (DW) - Facebook is being used to silence bloggers critical of Vietnam's government, according to Reporters Without Borders. The campaigners said there were 26 imprisoned media workers in the Southeast Asian nation.
RSF said the social network deleted posts and blocked accounts because of alleged violations of community standards.
"Our research shows that the Vietnamese government is apparently abusing digital space to suppress critical voices abroad as well," said RSF managing director Christian Mihr. "Those responsible must stop these attacks and respect the freedom of the press. [read more]

Relatives of Jailed Vietnamese Democracy Activists Detail Prison Mistreatment to US Embassy Officials
14.12.2018 (RFA) - Four jailed Vietnamese members of the online Brotherhood for Democracy advocacy group are suffering from failing health and enduring ill treatment in prison, according to the wife of one activist, who raised concerns about their situation during a meeting with U.S. Embassy officials on Friday.
Nguyen Thi Lanh, the wife of Brotherhood for Democracy President Nguyen Trung Ton, told RFA’s Vietnamese Service that she and other relatives met with representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi to detail routine abuse of the activists by prison authorities and ask for assistance in securing their release. [read more]

Kritiker über Facebook verfolgt
13.12.2018 (ROG) - Facebook wird offenbar systematisch missbraucht, um im Exil lebende Blogger aus Vietnam zu zensieren. Nach Informationen von Reporter ohne Grenzen (ROG) hat das soziale Netzwerk wegen angeblicher Verletzungen der „Community Standards“ seit Monaten Beiträge gelöscht oder ganze Accounts gesperrt. Bekannt geworden ist zuletzt der Fall des in Deutschland lebenden Journalisten Trung Khoa Le, der durch eine Account-Sperrung an der Veröffentlichung eines regimekritischen Videos in Deutschland gehindert wurde. Facebook räumte danach ein, Opfer eines „böswilligen Angriffs“ geworden zu sein, und kündigte Verbesserungen an. Die Recherchen zeigen, dass Trung Khoa Le kein Einzelfall war. ROG legte Facebook 23 weitere Fälle vor, unter ihnen ist auch der vietnamesische Blogger Bui Thanh Hieu. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam seeks arrest of activist over Facebook posts
12.12.2018 (Reuters) - HANOI - Police in Vietnam have issued an arrest warrant for an activist accused of trying to overthrow the state by posting pro-democracy materials on Facebook.
Nguyen Van Trang, a member of the banned group Brotherhood for Democracy, posted articles, photos and videos on his Facebook account that distorted the policies of the Communist Party and state, and incited people to protest, the Ministry of Public Security said on its website. [read more]

Two Activists in Hiding, Accused of Trying to Overthrow Vietnam Government
11.12.2018 (RFA) - Vietnamese democracy activists Nguyen Van Trang and Le Van Thuong are wanted for overthrowing their country’s communist government, police told RFA’s Vietnamese Service on Tuesday.
The two members of the banned Brotherhood for Democracy are being sought for “activities aiming to overthrow the people’s administration” under article 109 of the revised Vietnamese penal code, police in Thanh Hoa and Quang Ngai provinces told RFA by telephone. [read more]

Jailed Vietnam Activist Punished for Not Pleading Guilty
07.12.2018 (RFA) - Vietnamese activist Nguyen Trung Ton, currently serving a 12-year jail sentence, is being punished by prison authorities for maintaining his innocence of charges he plotted to overthrow his country’s communist government, his wife said on Friday.
Shortly after visiting her husband in prison, Nguyen Thi Lanh told RFA’s Vietnamese Service that prison authorities are forcing him to sit separately from the other inmates as he reviews prison rules because they are worried that he may influence the others.
“They are trying to force him to write a confession every day and accept the accusations against him, but he refuses,” Nguyen Thi Lanh, said. [read more]

Missio: Religionsfreiheit weltweit immer mehr unter Druck
05.12.2018 (SZ) - Aachen (dpa/lnw) - Die Religionsfreiheit gerät nach Angaben des katholischen Hilfswerks Missio weltweit immer mehr unter Druck. Die Zahl der Staaten, in denen Menschen wegen ihrer Religion durch staatliche Maßnahmen oder gesellschaftliche Anfeindungen hochgradig gefährdet seien, sei von 40 im Jahr 2007 auf 55 Staaten im Jahr 2016 gestiegen, teilte Missio am Mittwoch zum 70. Jahrestag der Verabschiedung der allgemeinen Menschenrechtserklärung (10. Dezember 1948) mit. Darauf zu reagieren sei eine der wichtigsten Herausforderungen der künftigen Menschenrechtsarbeit. [Weiterlesen]

In the Party’s crosshairs, Fr Nam tried in Nghệ An
04.12.2018 by Peter Tran (AsiaNews) - Hanoi – Municipal authorities in Khánh Thành, Nghệ An province (north-central Vietnam), held a trial (phiên tòa đấu tố) of Fr Antoine Đặng Hữu Nam (pictured), vicar of Mỹ Khánh parish.
Having failed to get local Catholics involved, the administration of the mostly Catholic commune turned to neighbouring municipalities. Officials from Yên Thành district, the Women's Union, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the Veterans 'Association, the Farmers' Association and the Vietnamese Homeland Front heeded the call.
One Party official in Khánh Thành attacked the priest: "Today I will talk about Fr Đặng Hữu Nam. He is a reactionary priest, a ‘Việt gian’ (a Vietnamese who follows the enemy) in the service of foreign countries ". [read more]

P1 - Vielfalt
  24. November 2018
15:30 – 18:00 in Stuttgart
Verfolgung von Menschenrechtlern in Vietnam
Rechtsanwalt Nguyen Van Dai aus Hanoi berichtet
Vortrag mit Diskussion
Eintritt frei