A rotten week for freedom of speech in Vietnam. Wrote about it for GlobalPost and hoping to do something else for UN Dispatch today.
Vietnam Convicts 14 Activists of ‘Anti-State’ crimes After Two-Day Hearing – GlobalPost
Fourteen bloggers were convicted of “anti-state” crimes today in the central Vietnamese city of Vinh, after a swift two-day-trial that many human rights defenders have been swift to condemn.
Read more from GlobalPost: Vietnam: Girl suspended over Ho Chi Minh joke
Thirteen of the convicted were given jail sentences between three and 13 years, coupled with house-arrest sentences of varying lengths.Twelve of the convicted are men, and two are women, while the majority are affiliated with the Catholic church, according to Human Rights Watch sources.
“I pray and hope that soon the society of Vietnam will have truth and justice. I fully accept and will endure any and all suppression under this regime,” said 24-year-old Catholic activist Tran Minh Nhat in his final testimony on Wednesday, which was posted on the Thanh Niên Công Giáo blog.
Read more over at GlobalPost….
3 thoughts on “Dark day for free speech in Vietnam: 13 activists jailed”
Hi Faine. Not sure about the headline ‘Dark Days’….I have been living in Hanoi for 18 months and not once come across any problems with free speech. The Vietnamese people are more concerned with making money and having families. I understand these protests come from a Roman Catholic organization. These organizations have their own self interest at heart and not the native people of the country. They also bring with them their own cultural baggages with them which is generally out of sync with the local customs and society in general. You also have to look at the history of Vietnam. They have been invaded by the Chinese,French and America which they have all kicked out and rightly so. Ho Chi Minh is a historical figure in Vietnam and the people are proud of him. The man unified the country. I will always be a little sceptical of religious organizations trying to impose the beliefs on a country that frankly does not need them.
1. Are you a foreigner? Foreigners and Vietnamese people obviously will have very different experiences when it comes to free speech. Further, it bears repeating that Your Individual Experience Doesn’t Mean There’s No Problem.
2. Roman Catholic’s have the right to practice their religion and express their opinions without fear of being thrown in prison in free and open societies. Just because you disagree with them and think they are “imposing their beliefs” on others does NOT meant that they deserve jail time.
3. Also not sure what cultural baggage you are describing…these imprisoned people are all Vietnamese, as are most of the people involved with protesting against their imprisonment – note that the UN, Amnesty, and Human Rights Watch are also involved in condemning this action, none of which are “Christian” organizations.
Yes Im an Aussie.
There are free speech issues in most countries including our respective countries.
I wont enter the debate on Catholics. My own views are that organized religions are pure evil.
Cultural baggage comes from when a group of people go to another country and don’t shift all their thoughts and actions. They seem to expect to be treated the same where ever they go.
I have talked to a number of Vietnamese about this detention problem and free speech from a wide variety of age groups and all have the same reaction. That being of indifference. The government over here is not on their thoughts like it is in our countries
I just hope the Catholics did not organize these protestors into action.