Author Archives: Viet Nam Right Now

Is Facebook letting down Vietnamese activisits ?

What is the difference between “toxic” content designed to cause chaos, and free and open discussion of current events ? Portraying legitimate criticism and comment as subversion is the oldest trick in the book for authoritarian governments attempting to silence…

Heavy sentences after trial cut short

A crushing sentence of 15 years in prison for a leading pro-democracy advocate cements Vietnam’s growing reputation as Southeast Asia’s most repressive country. Nguyen Van Dai, a debarred human rights lawyer and campaigner for political freedoms, was sentenced alongside five…

Nguyen Van Dai and associates on trial for their lives

The police broke up an attempted demonstration by supporters of pro-democracy activists, as a major political trial got underway in Hanoi. Police and plainclothes agents blocked the march by a small group of protesters, who carried placards saying that democracy…

Activist faces trial after 2 years in detention

The Vietnamese government is preparing to bare its teeth this week with a display of communist justice designed to intimidate its critics into silence. For more than two years, the human rights lawyer and democracy advocate, Nguyen Van Dai, has…

The two faces of China on display as fleet enters SCS

The Chinese foreign minister was all smiles and compliments in Hanoi this week, while a powerful Chinese naval fleet entered the South China Sea in an unprecedented show of force. Beijing’s combined strategy of cooperation and military muscle was on…

Vietnam loses nerve over another oil project

Vietnam is reported to have halted another major oil project because of Chinese pressure, despite Hanoi’s recent efforts to bolster its strategic position in the South China Sea. The Spanish firm, Repsol, was ordered to suspend imminent plans to move…

Christians attacked amid charges of religious persecution

Ethnic minority Christians in the north-west of the country have been attacked and badly beaten – the latest indication that religious persecution is growing in Vietnam, according to human rights activists. Reports said that 24 newly converted Hmong Christians had…

Further humiliation for former party heavyweight

The spectacular fall from grace of the former politburo member, Dinh La Thang, appeared to be complete in January when he was sentenced to 13 years in jail for economic crimes. But now the former technocrat, once seen as a…

Germany turns up the heat over alleged abduction

Germany is continuing to step up pressure on Vietnam nearly eight months after a fugitive Vietnamese official was abducted from a park in Berlin. The Attorney-General’s office said it had begun an investigation into the deputy head of Vietnamese intelligence,…

Police general arrested in gambling scandal

A former head of the police’s high-tech crime unit has been arrested on charges of involvement in a major online gambling ring. The prosecution of Major-General Nguyen Thanh Hoa threatens to further undermine the credibility of the police in a…