Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) condemned the prison terms handed down today by a Vietnam court to two agency correspondents accused of distorting and defaming the Hanoi government.
“It’s appalling and unacceptable that providing objective reporting on Vietnam’s repressive government cost these journalists their freedom,” said USAGM CEO Michael Pack.
Pham Chi Dung, reporter and blogger with Voice of America Vietnamese Service, received a 15-year sentence. He was arrested and imprisoned on November 21, 2019, in Ho Chi Ming City for “dangerous actions” against the Hanoi government. He was the service’s most popular blogger until his arrest and helped create the Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam.
Nguyen Tuong Thuy, contributor to Radio Free Asia Vietnamese Service, received an 11-year sentence. He was arrested on May 23, 2020, and accused of “making, storing, and disseminating documents and materials for anti-state purposes.” Thuy had blogged about civil rights and freedom of speech for RFA’s Vietnamese Service for six years. He visited the United States in 2014 to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives on media freedom problems in Vietnam.
“These brave individuals dared to report the truth about the Communist Party of Vietnam. They should not be imprisoned, but heralded,” CEO Pack said.
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