Vietnam to fine social media ‘abuse’

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Facebook-Zensur-VietnamVietnam will impose fines of 100 million dong ($4,740) to anyone criticising the government on social media, under a new law announced this week, local media reported.

Comments that did not constitute criminal offenses would trigger fines if held to be “propaganda against the state”, or spreading “reactionary ideology”, according to the law signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

Vietnam has repeatedly drawn fire for the harsh treatment and lengthy jail terms it has given to bloggers who criticised its one-party regime. The number of arrests and convictions has soared in the last four years.

The new decree is vaguely worded and did not say what comments amounted to a criminal offense, which can be punished with prison, or an “administrative violation” that rates a fine.

For example, a Vietnamese Facebook user who campaigned online for the release of his brother jailed for criticising the government and was last month sentenced to 15 months of house arrest.

Rights groups and foreign governments have come down hard on Vietnam over its draconian cyber laws, including the US, which has urged Vietnam to improve its human rights record to strengthen its case for stronger trade ties.

The decree also said anyone posting online a map of Vietnam inconsistent with the country’s sovereignty claims faced fines.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Vietnam will impose fines of 100 million dong ($4,740) to anyone criticising the government on social media, under a new law announced this week, local media reported.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Facebook-Zensur-VietnamVietnam will impose fines of 100 million dong ($4,740) to anyone criticising the government on social media, under a new law announced this week, local media reported.

Comments that did not constitute criminal offenses would trigger fines if held to be “propaganda against the state”, or spreading “reactionary ideology”, according to the law signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

Vietnam has repeatedly drawn fire for the harsh treatment and lengthy jail terms it has given to bloggers who criticised its one-party regime. The number of arrests and convictions has soared in the last four years.

The new decree is vaguely worded and did not say what comments amounted to a criminal offense, which can be punished with prison, or an “administrative violation” that rates a fine.

For example, a Vietnamese Facebook user who campaigned online for the release of his brother jailed for criticising the government and was last month sentenced to 15 months of house arrest.

Rights groups and foreign governments have come down hard on Vietnam over its draconian cyber laws, including the US, which has urged Vietnam to improve its human rights record to strengthen its case for stronger trade ties.

The decree also said anyone posting online a map of Vietnam inconsistent with the country’s sovereignty claims faced fines.

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