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Nguyen Van Hai, Vietnam - Jailed since April 2008

Nguyen Van Hai, Vietnam - Jailed since April 2008

Article ID:

17626

Day 5
Country: Vietnam
Journalist: Nguyen Van Hai
Media: Blogger
Jailed since: 20 April 2008

Suggested Tweet:

#FreethePress calls for the release of blogger Nguyen Van Hai and all journalists in jail in #Vietnam tinyurl.com/myerfyc


One of the best-known bloggers in Vietnam’s community of online journalists, Nguyen Van Hai is currently serving a twelve-year prison sentence for “conducting propaganda against the state.” During his long years in prison, Hai has endured solitary confinement and waged a hunger strike. Fearing for his deteriorating health, family members say he is barely recognisable.

Hai’s troubles began in 2008, when a closed court sentenced him to two-and-a-half years in prison on charges of tax evasion, which were widely viewed as a pretext to silence his criticism of the government. But Hai remained in detention pending further investigation, and after a one-day trial in 2012 he faced a second sentence on “anti-state” charges related to his online journalism.

Hai’s blog, Dieu Cay (“Peasant’s Pipe”), which also serves as his pen name, covered politically sensitive issues, including government corruption and protests against China. He also co-founded the Free Journalists Club of Vietnam in 2007. Considered by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience, he was also honoured with Committee to Protect Journalist’s 2013 international press freedom award for risking his life to reveal abuses of power.

In Vietnam, people have taken to blogs to write about news events or opinions deemed inappropriate by the state-dominated mainstream media. While the Internet has opened up new avenues for communication, bloggers have become prime targets of the government. Vietnam’s clampdown on independent bloggers intensified in 2013 with hefty prison sentences, new arrests, and other forms of harassment, as well as censorship and surveillance. Vietnam is the fifth worst jailer of journalists, according to CPJ, with 18 reporters currently behind bars. Of those, 16 of them were arrested for online journalism.


Suggested Tweet:

#FreethePress calls for the release of blogger Nguyen Van Hai and all journalists in jail in #Vietnam tinyurl.com/myerfyc


Resources:

Amnesty International: Vietnam Bloggers’ shameful jail sentences aim to stifle free speech: http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/viet-nam-bloggers-shameful-jail-sentences-aim-stifle-free-speech-2012-09-24


Committee to Protect Journalists report on Vietnamese press freedom: https://cpj.org/2014/02/attacks-on-the-press-vietnam-analysis.php


Nguyen Van Hai, Vietnam: 2013 CPJ International Press Freedom Awardee:

https://www.cpj.org/awards/2013/nguyen-van-hai-vietnam.php


Nguyen Van Hai: Vietnamese Hunger Striker “Very Weak”:

http://thediplomat.com/2013/07/nguyen-van-hai-vietnamese-hunger-striker-very-weak/


Reporters Without Borders call for the release of jailed Vietnamese Bloggers: https://rsf.org/petitions/vietnam/petition.php?lang=en

Author

wm_WanIfra

Date

2014-04-08 10:13

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Andrew Heslop

Date

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