Vietnam sentences Facebook user to 3 ½ years for videos

Le Thach Giang criticized authorities, the Communist Party and Ho Chi Minh


RFA | 2023.10.31

Authorities in Vietnam on Tuesday sentenced a Facebook user to three and a half years in prison for his live-streamed videos that were critical of the government, state media reported.

Le Thach Giang, 66, of the southern coastal province of Ninh Thuan, was found guilty of violating Article 331 of Vietnam’s penal code for “abusing democratic freedoms to violate the State’s interests, legitimate rights and interests of organizations and individuals.” 

Rights groups have said that Article 331 is a vaguely written law that is often used by the government to silence dissenting voices and repress the people. 

According to the indictment, between Aug. 29 and Nov. 25, 2022, Giang had livestreamed several videos containing information about local authorities in Ninh Thuan on his Facebook account, which was titled “The Brutal Authorities.” He also criticized the Communist Party of Vietnam and late president and revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh.

The videos were allegedly unverified, slanderous and offensive to government agencies and defamatory to the Communist Party of Vietnam and the late president.

State media also said that Giang had been previously sentenced to another three and a half years for “intentionally damaging assets” and “disrupting public order,” but did not specify what these charges were for or when he was sentenced.

Translated by Anna Vu. Edited by Eugene Whong.



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