Posts Tagged ‘Vietnam’

Imprisoned Bloggers Around the World

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

According to Reporters Without Borders there are currently 121 netizens imprisoned, along with 157 journalists and 9 media assistants behind bars.

They include:

  • Blogger Henghameh Shahidi of Iran, in prison since February 25, 2009
  • Blogger Sakhi Righi of Iran, in prison since June 18, 2009
  • Blogger Wu Baoquan of China, in prison since a date unknown

The leading countries in jailing the persons RWB classifies as netizens are China (70), Iran (17), and Vietnam (17).

UN Report: Criminalization of Blogging

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Blue flag of the United NationsBelow is another excerpt that I think’s worth reading from the recent United Nations Human Rights Council report [pdf] on freedom of opinion and expression.

This excerpt of the report decries the criminalization of blogging:

… any restriction to the right to freedom of expression must meet the strict criteria under international human rights law. A restriction on the right of individuals to express themselves through the Internet can take various forms, from technical measures to prevent access to certain content, such as blocking and filtering, to inadequate guarantees of the right to privacy and protection of personal data, which inhibit the dissemination of opinions and information. The Special Rapporteur is of the view that the arbitrary use of criminal law to sanction legitimate expression constitutes one of the gravest forms of restriction to the right, as it not only creates a “chilling effect”, but also leads to other human rights violations, such as arbitrary detention and torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

One clear example of criminalizing legitimate expression is the imprisonment of bloggers around the world. According to Reporters without Borders, in 2010, 109 bloggers were in prison on charges related to the content of their online expression. Seventy-two individuals were imprisoned in China alone, followed by Viet Nam and Iran, with 17 and 13 persons respectively.

Imprisoning individuals for seeking, receiving and imparting information and ideas can rarely be justified as a proportionate measure to achieve one of the legitimate aims under article 19, paragraph 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Special Rapporteur would like to reiterate that defamation should be decriminalized, and that protection of national security or countering terrorism cannot be used to justify restricting the right to expression unless the Government can demonstrate that: (a) the expression is intended to incite imminent violence; (b) it is likely to incite such violence; and (c) there is a direct and immediate connection between the expression and the likelihood or occurrence of such violence.

The Sorry State of Blog Freedom in Vietnam

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Map and flag of Vietnam

Vietnam continues to be a woeful example of suppression of online speech. From the Reporters Without Borders dossier on the country:

Online media and blogs, mainly those hosted on WordPress, Multiply or Blogspot, thanks to contributions from citizen journalists, have acquired a de facto status equivalent to a sort of independent private press and are having a growing impact on public opinion. … Bloggers are carrying out actual field surveys whose results could not be published in the traditional media. Thanks to the Internet and to the debate and opinion-sharing spaces which it offers, a virtual civil society has emerged. Pro-democratic activists and critics of the government have found refuge there, which worries the authorities.

China Leads World in Jailing of Bloggers

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Flag of the People's Republic of ChinaAccording to continuously updated figures from Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders), China leads the world in the jailing of bloggers, with 11 behind bars.

Iran is runner-up with five in jail. Vietnam and Azerbaijan are tied for third place with two each.

RWB’s press freedom barometer tracks the numbers here.

Another iPhone Prototype Surfaces on Taoviet Blog from Vietnam

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Another blogger and another wayward iPhone prototype, on Taoviet blog out of Vietnam. (PC Magazine, Vanity Fair)

Reporters Without Borders Names 40 Predators of Press Freedom

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Today, World Press Freedom Day, the press-freedom group Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders) has released its list of 40 “predators” of press freedom. (press release can be found here; a list of the “predators” can be found at the bottom of RSF’s home page).

Nong Duc Manh, Vietnam’s Communist Party general secretary, received attention on the list for  ”waging an offensive” against bloggers, writers, and the liberal press.