Washington, D.C. — Radio Free Asia (RFA) President Stephen Yates issued the following statement today condemning the Ho Chi Minh People’s Court’s sentencing of Nguyen Tuong Thuy, a Vietnamese blogger who has contributed commentary to RFA’s Vietnamese Service, to 11 years in prison:
“Radio Free Asia unequivocally condemns today’s conviction of Nguyen Tuong Thuy and calls for his immediate release. The harsh sentencing of Thuy and two other independent journalists is a blatant assault on basic freedoms and flies in the face of the freedom of expression enshrined in Vietnam’s constitution. Despite this development, RFA will continue to bring the people of Vietnam trustworthy journalism and provide a platform for independent commentary.”
Nguyen Tuong Thuy was convicted of “making, storing and spreading information, materials and items for the purpose of opposing the state” after maintaining his own innocence at a one-day trial. Two other Vietnamese freelance journalists, Le Huu Minh Tuan and Pham Chi Dung, were handed prison sentences of 11 and 15 years respectively. RFA had previouslyVietnamese authorities to release the blogger when he was arrested last May. Two other RFA Vietnamese contributors are serving jail terms in prison in Vietnam. They are Truong Duy Nhat, a blogger who was sentenced in March last year to 10 years, and Nguyen Van Hoa, a videographer who was sentenced in November 2017 to seven years.
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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