SOPA urges Vietnam to respect press freedom, release jailed journalists

The Society of Publishers in Asia, SOPA, notes with concern Vietnam’s recent crackdown on independent media and in particular the harsh sentences handed down to journalists who have been critical of the government.

Just last week, three journalists, Pham Chi Dung, Nguyen Tuong Thuy and Le Huu Minh Tuan, were found guilty of spreading anti-state propaganda and sentenced to between 11 and 15 years in prison.

Open discourse and a free press are essential to any country’s development and governments should not suppress access to information to avoid being held accountable. Vietnam’s constitution guarantees freedom of expression and SOPA urges the government to uphold that right, reverse the sentences and free all journalists jailed for doing their jobs.