A Facebook user was sentenced to six years in prison after a court in Vietnam convicted him for posts he made that the Vietnam’s Communist government said were ‘‘anti-government’’.
According to the statement of the Ministry of Public Security, 38-year-old Nguyen Chi Vung was convicted after only single-day trial for “making and spreading anti-government information and materials”.
It added that Vung had held 33 Livestream sessions on Facebook “to share distorted information” and “encourage people to participate in protests during national holidays”. Vung will be placed under house arrest for two years after serving his jail term, the Ministry’s statement said.
This is not the first time a Vietnamese court has sentenced social media users to prison terms. Earlier this month, a music teacher was convicted for the same offences and jailed for 11 years.
In a separate statement, the Ministry of Public Security said that a 23-year-old man was arrested for smearing the image of Ho Chi Minh – the Communist leader of North Vietnam who led insurgents against South Vietnamese, Japanese, French, and American forces for much of the 20th century before his death at the height of the Vietnam War in September 1969 – and spreading anti-government propaganda on Facebook.
Pham Chi Dung, a freelance journalist and government critic, was arrested in mid-November in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and accused of spreading “anti-government propaganda”.
Vietnamese citizens generally use Facebook for e-commerce and voicing their dissent against the country’s Communist government. Facebook said in May it increased the amount of content it restricted access to in Vietnam by more than 500% in the last half of 2018.