The Press Law prescribes that all media in the SRV are „speech instrument of organizations belonging to the Party, the state or social organizations (controlled by the state)“ serving the lines, policy and interests of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV):
Art. 1. Role and Responsibilities of the Press
The press in SRV is public information means essential to social life; speech instrument of Party organizations, state agencies or social organizations (controlled by the state); forum for the people. Art. 19, § 2 of UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) asserts that everyone has the right to freedom of expression which includes freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds through any other media of his choice, thus the press. To regulate the press in Vietnam, reducing them to “speech instruments of Party organizations, state agencies, social organizations” controlled by the CPV impairs the propagation of opinions or thought of the large public which does not belong to organizations of the Party, the ruling Government or organizations under the control of CPV.
Moreover Art. 6 § 2 reiterates that the responsabilities of the press are to „propagate lines, policies of the party, laws of the state“: Art. 6. Role and Responsibilities of the Press
2- To propagate lines, policies of the Party, laws of the state... SRV Press Law does not allow organizations outside of CPV’s influence sphere (for instance the Vietnamese Unified Buddhist Church (UBC), the Catholic Church of Vietnam, Hòa Hao Buddhist Church, Cao Dai Buddhist Church, Protestant Church etc.) or every citizen to express their own thought or opinions. Thus the SRV Press Law offends against Art. 18 and 19 of UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
2.2.3. Publishing Law According to Art. 11 of SRV’s Publishing Law, only government agencies, organizations of CPV and organizations under the control of CPV are permitted to establish publishing agency.
Art. 11 Entities permitted to establish publishing houses
Government bodies, political organizations, socio-political organizations and other organizations as stipulated by the Government shall be permitted to establish a publishing house.
Publishing houses shall be organized and operate in the form of a business enterprise subject to conditions or in the form of a revenue-earning professional entity. Similar to its Press Law, SRV Publishing Law does not permit organizations and/or citizens not under direct influence of the CPV to establish publishing houses. As a result, citizens are denied freedom of speech. Moreover, as the press and publishing houses are being run and managed by Party organizations, government agencies and sundry organizations under the control of the CPV, the citizens are denied the possibilities to obtain and transmit objective and true information.
2.3. Conclusion Not only the rights of freedom of speech, of the press are not respected in SRV. They are systematically being trampled underfoot through the interwoven and contradictory laws.
The law of SRV offends against Art. 18 and 19 of both UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
2.4 Ten violations of freedom of speech and of the press Case 1: Private press and publishing houses are forbidden In Vietnam there are neither private or independent journals nor publishing houses. The most important religions such as Buddhism with tens of million followers, the Catholic, Hòa Hảo Buddhist Churches, each with some 8 million followers, the Protestant and Cao Đài Churches etc. are not allowed to publish independent journals, not even religious books for their own use.
Mr. Nguyễn văn Hải, 33 years old, reporter of the Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) and Mr. Nguyễn Việt Chiến, 56, reporter of the Thanh Niên (Young People) were arrested on May 12, 2008, convicted of “taking advantage of function – authority while carrying out their duties”. The two reporters have written on the big corruption scandal PMU 18 at the Ministry of Transport and Communications and have thus militated against the regime and its leaders.
In the process on October 15, 2008 the 2 reporters were given each a 2-year sentence and convicted of “taking advantage of freedom, democratic rights” while carrying out their duties on account of a series of articles denunciating corruption affairs in millions dollar amounts under the PMU 18 Project. Reporter Nguyễn Việt Chiến claims that it is entirely legal to use information stemming from investigation offices. He rejects all accusations of the court, asserting that he is only fulfilling his duties to inform as defined by his profession. His reports were based on information supplied by Gen. Phạm Xuân Quắc which have also been recorded and made available to the court. Due to his unyielding attitude Nguyễn Việt Chiến was given a 2-yrear prison sentence. Nguyễn văn Hải was given a milder suspended sentence of 2 years.
Case 3: Engineer Đỗ Nam Hải
Home address: 441 Nguyễn Kiệm – Phường 9 – Quận Phú Nhuận – Sài Gòn – Việt Nam.
Engineer Đỗ Nam Hải studied Money and Credit in Australia. In January 2002 he returns to Vietnam and works at a commercial bank.
In Australia between June 2000 and Aug. 2001 he wrote under pen name Phương Nam a series of 5 essays proposing a referendum which would allow the Vietnamese people to realize their self-determination right by choosing either a single or multiparty political system.
In Aug. 2004, while at work at the bank, a group of 5 securities officers of the Ministry of Securiries took him to their quarter for interrogations regarding the articles he wrote in Australia. He was afterward retained for some 50 hours without arrest warrant.
In Feb. 2005 Securities Police instructed his bank to suspend his work contract. This action goes against not only the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also against ruling Labor Law of SRV.