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In Vietnam: Being a Blogger Could Land You In Jail, Cost You Your Life 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the blog-free-or-die dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Bloggers in Vietnam are increasingly finding themselves thrown in jail. Despite freedom of speech being enshrined in the nation's Constitution, many who speak out against the government are thrown in jail — thanks to a new law that forbids such talk. In one desperate act, Dang Thi Kim Lieng lit herself on fire outside the Bac Lieu People's Committee building in southern Vietnam. She died of her injuries. She was protesting the detention of her daughter who was arrested for blogging against the government. Three other bloggers are scheduled be tried under section 88 of the criminal code, which relates to propaganda against the nation. A maximum sentence could carry with it 20 years in jail."
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In Vietnam: Being a Blogger Could Land You In Jail, Cost You Your Life

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  • by hawks5999 (588198) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @05:33PM (#40989995)
    Julian Assange was overheard to say.
  • by v1 (525388) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @05:37PM (#40990025) Homepage Journal

    You're free to talk about anything you want to. Unless we don't like what you say, in which case we will lock you up or kill you. Have a nice day.

    Funny how governments (usually of the oppressive variety) are deathly scared of people voicing their opinions of them or outing them publicly.

    Just how oppressive is Vientnam's government? That's not one I usually hear tossed around with Cuba, North Korea etc. IMHO any government that makes it a crime to speak negatively in public about the government, ruling party, president, or king, is oppressive just from that alone.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @05:38PM (#40990033)

    Nah, in the United States, you don't even have to be a resident to break the laws.

  • Lame title (Score:2, Insightful)

    by noh8rz7 (2706405) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @05:48PM (#40990141)
    The title of the post should be, "In Vietnam: being a blogger could land you in jail; setting yourself on fire could cost you your life".
  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @05:49PM (#40990149) Homepage

    And yet you can blithely say that, posting logged in to your account, with full knowledge that your IP address and user agent string are being logged, and yet still have no fear that the US government will ever come hunting you down for your disparaging remarks.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @05:56PM (#40990231) Journal

    still have no fear that the US government will ever come hunting you down for your disparaging remarks.

    Yet. If we engage in other constitutionally protected rights, such as the right to peaceably assemble, we can reasonably expect to be arrested for it. Thousands of people already have been.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @06:06PM (#40990359) Homepage Journal

    And yet you can blithely say that, posting logged in to your account, with full knowledge that your IP address and user agent string are being logged, and yet still have no fear that the US government will ever come hunting you down for your disparaging remarks.

    Spoken like someone who's never tried confronting an American politician or candidate [progressive.org] with an opinion [niemanwatchdog.org] they don't care for, [pjmedia.com] in person.

  • by _merlin (160982) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @06:29PM (#40990625) Homepage Journal

    You have to be somewhat subtle about political commentary. You can't just print it on the front page of the newspaper. However, there are certain soap operas on TV that are obviously thinly veiled criticism of government figures and policies. Corruption is rife, there's a bit gap between the richest and the poorest, health care is expensive but it doesn't bankrupt anyone, they're even stricter on drug crimes than US (death penalty for possession of over 500g). It's not a bad place to live if it's where you want to live, just different trade-offs.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @06:38PM (#40990721) Journal

    When the revolution is authoritarian, I'm proud to be reactionary. I want to take us back to a time when the Constitution was respected, and the law applied to rich and poor alike. When warrantless anything was unconscionable. When torture was punished no matter who the torturer was. When the rule of law still meant something.

    Obama delivered big on the change, not so much on the hope.

  • by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @06:43PM (#40990787)

    Or this:

    http://www.copblock.org/858/alaska-troopers-assault-man-with-anti-obama-sign/ [copblock.org]

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132x6512746 [democratic...ground.com]

    Free speech knows no party affiliation. Free speech suppression is universal by both Donkey and Elephant...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @06:50PM (#40990869)

    still have no fear that the US government will ever come hunting you down for your disparaging remarks.

    Yet. If we engage in other constitutionally protected rights, such as the right to peaceably assemble, we can reasonably expect to be arrested for it. Thousands of people already have been.

    Arrested, and then free within a few hours. Vietnamese people are being thrown in prison for TWENTY YEARS, for writing on the internet. I think it is perhaps a bit egotistical to think you have problems worth mentioning in comparison. STFU?

  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @06:56PM (#40990939) Homepage

    A candidate for the U.S. Senate was in town for a discussion panel for which I was running sound (since I volunteer as an audio technician). After the panel, she came out on stage where I was coiling cables, and we had a lovely discussion on labor unions. We presented our positions, discussed the merits and shortcomings of union power, and eventually conceded that both employers and unions too often behave like infants. It was an insightful and interesting conversation.

    This is one of several similar encounters I've had over the years, though the majority of discussions I've fallen into were with more local politicians. I doubt I could say I've "confronted" any of them, because I'm not going to go out of my way to be confrontational. Though it seems popular now to call any gaudy spectacle with a political motive a "protest", I prefer to submit my protests in a more effective and less offensive manner: calm and polite discourse.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @08:28PM (#40991761)

    Spoken like someone who's never tried confronting an American politician or candidate [progressive.org] with an opinion [niemanwatchdog.org] they don't care for, [pjmedia.com] in person

    Freedom of speech doesn't guarantee you a specific audience or venue, nor does it offer protection when you force it.

    Write an open letter to the politician with your grievances and publish it. When you get arrested for doing that, you'll have a legitimate gripe. If you just get ignored by everyone, that's probably a sign that your message wasn't particularly important and you were just being a jackass when you tried to force people to listen to you.

  • by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @01:13AM (#40993617)

    The number of heartless assholes on Slashdot really boggle my mind.

    You're posting to correct the headline, because it was the blogger's mother who died of burns, not the blogger? Really? THAT is what you want to talk about?

    It used to be that self-immolation actually caused people to wake up and do something about a massive injustice, with the support of all onlookers. Now you want to sit and quibble about the fucking headline. Somebody burned herself to death in protest of the unjust imprisonment of her daughter and you assholes are arguing over whether or not Viet Nam War protestors in the US are traitors.

    I hate you all.

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