Vietnamese President Calls For Fresh Media Crackdown
PM News - August 21, 2017
President Tran Dai Quang of Vietnam has called for a fresh crackdown on the country’s already restricted media, with a focus on threats from “hostile forces’’ online, state media reported on Monday.
“Political dissidents’’ have used the internet, especially social networking sites, with sophisticated methods and tricks to create internal dissension, infringe the nation’s interests and undermine national security,” Tran said.
During a speech on Sunday to mark the 72nd Vietnamese Police Day, Tran said the state should “enhance management over press and publication activities,’’ according to the Vietnam News Agency.
“Damaging activities’’ by “hostile forces’’ were increasing, Tran said, according to the government’s online newspaper, with websites and blogs used to “blacken’’ the reputation of party and state leaders.
Under Vietnam’s single party communist state, challenges to the ruling party are outlawed and the government has already launched a renewed crackdown on political dissent in recent months.
At least 10 dissidents have been arrested, charged or convicted of anti-state crimes since June, including several bloggers.
Tran’s remarks were reported as the trial of prominent human rights activist Nguyen Van Oai, scheduled to begin on Monday, was postponed for unknown reasons.