Reporters Without Borders is appalled by the sentencing today of two citizen radio journalists, Vu Duc Trung and his brother-in-law Le Van Thanh, to prison terms of three years and two years respectively for illegally broadcasting radio programmes to China.
“This conviction is harsh and outrageous. We had cautioned the Vietnamese judicial system against any attempt to use the law in an abusive fashion,” the press freedom organization said.
“The unlicensed transmission of programmes that were not in Vietnamese nor aimed at a Vietnamese audience should not have been characterized as anything other than an administrative offence. This verdict shows the authorities were conveying the anger of their Chinese counterparts, who were the targets of the criticism expressed in the radio programmes.