[ View the story "Crackdown in Vietnam " on Storify] Crackdown in Vietnam
The Stream· Wed, Jan 16 2013 10:10:24
Of the 14 recently sentenced dissidents,
at least five were independent bloggers,
according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The activists were
for "activities aimed at overthrowing the communist government", in violation of Article 79 in the Vietnamese Penal Code. Some were also punished for their
with the US-based Vietnamese reform group
Global Voices Online has
as full list of the dissidents.
Supporters of the activists protested outside of the courtroom in central Vietnam. Photo via
Friends of Viet Tan
Viet Tan is a banned organisation in Vietnam. State media, including the Saigon Daily,
refer to the organisation as a "terrorist network".
Screenshot of Viet Tan website:
I am one of a million against 79Cuong Nguyen
In Vietnam, the internet has become an popular source for people seeking information beyond what is reported in state media outlets. Controversial news topics discussed on blogs and social media include
territorial disputes between Vietnam and China
- namely those involving the Spratly and Paracel islands - human rights, high-level corruption and
domestic land rights
Any conversation about anti-China protests in the country has been
"sensitive" by the Vietnamese government. Here, video of an anti-China protest in December:
Biểu tình chống Trung Quốc xâm lược Hoàng Sa, Trường Sa-Hà Nội 9/12/2012vanganhinfo
Another sensitive news item involved government land grabs in the village of Van Giang. When citizens protested, they were met with a heavy resistance by the police.
Although the confrontation was
by state-controlled media, bloggers were able to cover the events:
Đánh người trong vụ cưỡng chế Văn GiangMua Xuan
More than a third of Vietnam's population uses the internet.
In 2009, the Vietnamese government
Facebook access within its boundaries. Despite the restrictions, Vietnamese users have found ways to
There's always a problem accessing Facebook and sending Line message here. Vietnamese government doesn't like the apps? #VietnamToddy Chen
Really enjoying being in Vietnam, but not enjoying the Facebook block. Going to stuff around with DNS settings today.Craig Martin
Video of how to bypass Facebook Firewall in Vietnam, via Viet Tan:
Viet Tan Vodcast - How to Circumvent Vietnam's Firewall to Access FacebookViet Tan Media
Facebook Back Music Video (Sexyback Parody)bringfacebookback
The Vietnamese government has issued
decrees regarding internet use
. The most recent was
last April and called for real-name identification of online users, legal liabilities for websites failing to regulate content, and broad definitions for offensive content.
Most worrying is the introduction of the Decree on the Management, Provision, Use of Internet Services and Internet Content Online draft decree aimed at regulating domestic Internet use. The 60-article document is filled with alarmingly vague language, including bans on “abusing the provision and use of the Internet and information on the web” to “oppose the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,”Threats to Internet Freedom on the Rise in Vietnam | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Overseas Press Club "greatly saddened" by #Vietnam's growing suppression of free speech, especially bloggers.
In what could be another strategy to limit online criticism, the Vietnamese government admitted its
of pro-government bloggers.
The Vietnamese government is using its own official bloggers to post comments on the Internet favorable to the r ...
Increasingly, the battle over free speech in Vietnam is taking place online:
In each of the past several years, Vietnamese authorities have ramped up their crackdown on critical journalists, focusing heavily on those who work online. All but one of the reporters imprisoned in 2012 published blogs or contributed to online news publications.Number of jailed journalists sets global record - Reports - Committee to Protect Journalists
Here, the Vietnamese youth development group
calls on the international community to "speak up" against the stifling of free speech in Vietnam.
Phải Lên Tiếng / Speak Up Now! (Official Video)lenduong