Authorities in Vietnam today levied anti-state charges against a former news editor who published reports on official corruption, according to news reports. The accusations mark a trend of legal harassment against journalists who probe sensitive corruption issues in Vietnam, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.
“We call on Vietnam to drop these spurious charges and allow for the media to play a checking and balancing role without fear of reprisal,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. “Authorities would be wiser to address the well-documented corruption in their ranks than to persecute journalists who do a genuine public service by exposing official abuse of power.”
Kim Quoc Hoa, former editor-in-chief of the local-language, state-controlled print and online magazine The Elderly, was charged with “revealing confidential information related to national security” and “abusing freedoms and democratic rights in publishing articles that disseminated false information,” a criminal offense under Article 258 of Vietnam’s penal code, according to news reports. Convictions under Article 258 allow for up to seven years in prison. Police on Tuesday raided Hoa’s house in Hanoi, the capital, reports said. He is not in custody, and reports did not say when his trial would begin.
The original article can be found at cpj.org