Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nong Duc Manh named "predator of press freedom"

Reporters without Borders has named Vietnam Communist Party Secretary General Nong Duc Manh an "predator of press freedom". This is a category the organization reserves for political leaders who suppress freedom of the press in a harsh or systematic manner. It described Manh as "one of the architects of the relentless crackdown on opposition groups and dissident publications in Vietnam. Two journalists and around 15 cyber-dissidents have been sentenced to long prison sentences since January 2007." It noted in particular the arrest and imprisonment of Fr. Nguyen Van Ly, who received an eight year prison sentence for editing a Catholic dissident publication, Tu Do Ngon Luan; and of dissidents with the pro-democracy "Bloc 8406" who had published two underground magazines, distributed clandestinely within Vietnam and abroad. It also said he "distrusts the Internet and had several people arrested in 2007 for demanding more democracy on online forums."

Source: Reporters Without Borders, Predators of Press Freedom.


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