Vietnam Targets Bloggers Critical of Government

Not big respecters of free speech


In Vietnam, 17 bloggers and activists will stand trial tomorrow. This trial will be the largest of its kind in Vietnam–14 of the defendants will appear at once. They have been charged under Article 79 ("activities aimed at overthrowing the people's government") of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The allegations include: attending workshops on digital security; writing and linking to blog posts that are critical of the Communism Vietnamese government; calling for peaceful protests and political pluralism; and association with the Vietnam Reform Party (Viet Tan). If convicted, the defendants could face sentences ranging from five years in prison to capital punishment. Three of the accused activists–Nguyen Xuan Kim, Thai Van Tu, and Le Sy–have fled the country and the Ministry of Public Security has issued a warrant for their arrest.