Washington, D.C. — Radio Free Asia’s President Bay Fang issued the following statement today in response to the conviction and sentencing of Truong Duy Nhat, a blogger who contributed to Radio Free Asia’s Vietnamese Service, prior to his detention early last year.
“Radio Free Asia categorically condemns the unjust conviction of Truong Duy Nhat,” Fang said. “This deplorable act by Vietnamese authorities delivers another blow against free speech and free expression. This miscarriage of justice only reinforces RFA’s mission to provide the people of Vietnam with uncensored perspectives, and accurate news and information.”
The Hanoi People’s Court convicted Nhat for “abusing his position and authority while on duty” over alleged fraud involving state property while serving as bureau chief at a newspaper in Danang city between 2003-2004. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. His lawyer says he will appeal. Nhat, whose journalism had gotten him into trouble with Vietnamese authorities in the past, was abducted in January 2019 in Thailand after applying for asylum and brought back to Vietnam by force against his will. Two months later, RFA confirmed he was being held at T16 prison in Hanoi. In November 2019, Nhat’s lawyer was convicted for tax evasion, a charge that critics believed was linked to willingness to represent him. Nhat is an established writer and journalist, well-known before contributing to RFA. He was jailed in Vietnam from 2013 to 2015 for his writings critical of the government.
Radio Free Asia is a private, nonprofit corporation broadcasting and publishing online news, information, and commentary in 9 East Asian languages to listeners who do not have access to full and free news media. RFA’s broadcasts seek to promote the rights of freedom of opinion and expression, including the freedom to “seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” RFA is funded by an annual grant from USAGM.
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