“Pro-democracy activist Vi Duc Hoi’s eight-year jail sentence has been reduced to five years on appeal but is still extremely harsh, Reporters Without Borders said today, reiterating its call for the release of Hoi and all the other 17 netizens currently detained in Vietnam.
In a decision issued yesterday, the appeal court also reduced the length of the house arrest that Hoi will have to serve after release from prison from five years to three. The original sentence of eight years in prison and five years house arrest on a charge of anti-government propaganda was imposed last January.
Tag Archives: Blogger Arrests
“Ciudad Juárez, en la sombra del narcotráfico, a courageous blog about drug cartel activities, government repression and police corruption in northern Mexico, is the jury choice in the “Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom” category of this year’s BOBs (Best of Blogs competition), organized by the German radio station Deutsche Welle.
Voting on the BOBs website from 22 March to 11 April, the public also chose its own winner in each of the competition’s categories. The public’s choice in the “Reporters Without Borders” category is the blog kept by the editorial staff of the Moscow-based independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Providing outspoken coverage of such stories as the Caucasus and police abuses, Novaya Gazeta has become an institution in Russia and abroad.”
“Reporters Without Borders is deeply shocked by the three-year jail sentence that a military court has passed on the blogger and conscientious objector Maikel Nabil Sanad for posting a report on his blog criticizing the role played by Egypt’s armed forces in the country’s revolution earlier this year. He is the new government’s first prisoner of conscience.
“The circumstances of this blogger’s arrest and the conduct of his trial demonstrate a complete lack of consideration by the military for the most basic principles of international law. Egypt has begun a process of democratization and it should now be possible to criticize the armed forces like any other component of the state,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said.”
“It has taken the arrest of Ai Weiwei, one of China’s best-known contemporary artists and an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, for the world to take notice that Beijing is in the midst of the largest crackdown on dissent in over a decade — one that differs ominously in scope, tactics and aims from previous campaigns.
The authorities are clearly casting a wider net over all advocates of “global values”— the code word in China for human rights, the rule of law and freedom of expression. Everyone from veteran dissidents to lawyers, rights activists, NGO coordinators, journalists, writers, artists and even ordinary netizens are being targeted.
The lesson Beijing has taken from the Middle East uprisings is that the Internet can be the starting point of large-scale popular protests and that it has indeed contributed to the spread of “global values,” such as freedom of expression and human rights. In the minds of the leadership, these factors generate an urgent need to reassert control.”
From The New York Times
“Reporters Without Borders deplores the seven-year jail sentence that a Hanoi court imposed today on dissident Cu Huy Ha Vu on a charge of “propaganda against the state,” at the end of an unfair trial lasting just half a day.
“Seventeen netizens are currently in prison in Vietnam for calling for democracy or a multi-party system,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This is the second highest number of jailed cyber-dissidents in the world.””
“Reporters Without Borders is shocked to learn that Maikel Nabil Sanad, a blogger and conscientious objector, had been arrested by the military police for allegedly defaming the armed forces in his blog.
“How can one trust an institution that promises a democratic transition with civil society’s participation and then jails a pacifist blogger and conscientious objector at the first sign of any criticism?” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard asked. “This arrest raises questions about the reality of free speech in Egypt and whether the armed forces are ready to respect it.””
“Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns a wave of arrests of Chinese cyber-dissidents in recent months. The authorities are clearly determined to jail anyone displaying support for the revolutions in the Arab world or issuing calls for a similar uprising in China.
Three Internet users who received invitations to “drink tea” (a euphemism for a summons to a police station) in the latter part of February – Chen Wei, Ding Mao and the blogger Ran Yunfei – have just been formally charged with inciting subversion of state authority for issuing online appeals for a “Jasmine Revolution” in China. Their computers were seized.”
“Zimbabwe–Reporters Without Borders condemns Internet user Vikas Mavhudzi’s detention for the past month on a charge of advocating the government’s overthrow in a message he posted on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Facebook page. He is to remain in prison until his trial, for which no date has yet been set.
Mavhudzi, 39, posted a message highlighting the impact of Egypt’s revolution and indicating his support for peaceful protests.”
“On March 2, Qatar arrested a blogger, a young man by the name of Sultan Khalifa al-Khalaifi, whose blog contained statements critical of the government. Though this was Qatar’s first time arresting someone for content posted online, it represents a foray into a worrying trend.”
Jillian C. York is a project coordinator for the OpenNet Initiative at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. She also works on the Herdict Web project, coordinating translation and blogging.
From Al Jazeera
“Reporters Without Borders deplores the 13-year jail sentence that a Bangkok court imposed on 15 March on Thanthawut Taweewarodomkul, the administrator of website linked to the anti-government Red Shirt Movement, for three messages critical of the king that he allegedly posted on the site, called Nor Por Chor USA.
Thanthawut, who has been detained since his arrest on 1 April 2010, was given a 10-year sentence under a section of the criminal code covering lèse-majesté and a three-year sentence under the Computer Crime Act.”