Viet Nam: detained social media activist handed down 9-year jail term (Update)Event
- Viet Nam
- Initial Date
- Jul 20, 2021
- Event Description
Courts in Vietnam on Tuesday handed down prison terms to two Facebook users charged with posting articles opposing the country’s one-party communist state and calling for violence against judicial officials and police officers, according to state media reports.
In north-central Vietnam’s Nghe An province, Nguyen Van Lam, 51, was sentenced to nine years in prison for posting anti-state writings and sharing videos and other content, including broadcasts by RFA, considered politically subversive.
He was charged under Article 117 of Vietnam’s 2015 Criminal Code for “creating, storing, disseminating information and materials against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” a provision of Vietnamese law frequently used by authorities to stifle government critics and other peaceful voices of dissent.
Persons convicted of crimes under the law can be sentenced to from five to 20 years in prison.
According to the Nghe An Police Investigative Agency, Lam had posted numerous stories, images, and videos violating Vietnamese law from 2017 to November 2020, including livestream videos and stories from RFA and other online sources, and 18 stories written by himself on his mobile phone.
Among Lam’s posts available online, several mock authorities with sharp comments on news reports by RFA or other outlets.
On Oct. 26, 2020, Lam wrote: “The Vietnamese people do ask the international organizations, (and) Interpol to monitor the political and economic mechanism (of Vietnam).”
These comments had “smeared the regime, insulted Party and State leaders, called for a multi-party and pluralistic government, and distorted the actual situation in Vietnam,” state media reports said.
News reports did not mention the date of Lam’s arrest or whether he was assisted by a defense lawyer at his trial.
At least 14 Vietnamese people have been imprisoned following conviction on charges filed under Article 117 since January 2021. Pham Chi Dung, president of the Vietnam Independent Journalists Association has drawn the heaviest term so far this year at 15 years, followed by Nguyen Tuong Thuy, vice president of the Association, who was jailed for 11 years.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Enactment of repressive legislation and policies
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Right to liberty and security
- Blogger/ Social Media Activist
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 20 July 2021, Nguyen Van Lam, detained social media activist, was sentenced to 9-year imprisonment as result of his social media activity by a court in Nghe An Province, Viet Nam.