Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2018, 16:17 GMT

Attacks on the Press in 2011 - Vietnam

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date 22 February 2012
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2011 - Vietnam, 22 February 2012, available at: [accessed 19 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Key Developments

  • Several bloggers imprisoned in clampdown on political dissent.

  • New regulations give authorities greater power to curb sensitive reporting.

Vietnam intensified a media crackdown targeting online journalists and bloggers, reasserting the government's near-total control of domestic news media. Authorities arrested and detained five bloggers and contributors to online news publications, bringing to nine the number of journalists behind bars. Political bloggers Pham Minh Hoang and Vi Duc Hoi were both given harsh prison sentences on antistate charges related to their writings. Authorities continued to hold and deny visitation privileges for blogger Nguyen Van Hai even though his prison sentence expired in October 2010.A new executive decree that came into force in February gave the government greater powers to penalize journalists, editors, and bloggers who reported on issues deemed sensitive to national security. An "accusation" bill passed in November was designed to force journalists to reveal the identities of confidential sources critical of government agencies.

[Refworld note: The sections that follow represent a best effort to transcribe onto a single page information that appears in tabs on the CPJ's own pages, which also include a number of graphics not readily reproducible here. Refworld researchers are therefore strongly recommended to check against the original report: Attacks on the Press in 2011.]

Worst nation for bloggers: 6th

CPJ ranked Vietnam among the worst countries in the world to be a blogger. Detentions, harassment, and severely restrictive laws have earned the country the designation.

CPJ's Worst Countries for Bloggers:

Worst jailer of journalists: 5th

At least nine journalists were behind bars when CPJ conducted its worldwide census on December 1, 2011. All nine of the reporters imprisoned in Vietnam published blogs or contributed to online news publications.

World's worst jailers on CPJ's 2011 survey:

1. Iran: 42
2. Eritrea: 28
3. China: 27
4. Burma: 12
5. Vietnam: 9
6. Syria: 8

Bloggers jailed in 2011: 5

Authorities imprisoned five online journalists during 2011, intensifying their crackdown on political dissent, according to CPJ research. Four other online journalists had been detained prior to 2011.

Unsolved murder: 1

Authorities failed to solve the death by burning of journalist Le Hoang Hung, a reporter with the Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper who reported on local corruption issues.

Dong's murder was the first work-related fatality in Vietnam since CPJ began compiling detailed statistics in 1992.

Internet penetration: 27.6%

Internet penetration rates have been relatively flat over the past several years, according to data from the International Telecommunication Union, or ITU.

Copyright notice: © Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced only with permission from CPJ.

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