VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam rejected what it referred to as wrong opinions regarding the trial of two former journalists on October 24, stating that it continually encourages the press to join the fight against corruption.
The Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Dung made these remarks in response to correspondents’ questions about opinions overseas relating to the trial of Nguyen Viet Chien, a former journalist with Thanh Nien newspaper and Nguyen Van Hai, a former correspondent with Tuoi Tre newspaper, based in Ho Chi Minh City.
“We reject any wrong opinions about the trial of Nguyen Viet Chien and Nguyen Van Hai. The trial was held publicly, in line with legal procedures and in accordance with international human rights standards, including a 1966 civil rights covenant on the rights to freedom of opinion, the expression and collection of information and accompanied liabilities and duties ensuring national security and public order”, he said.
Dung noted that representatives of foreign missions and a number of foreign journalists also attended the trial.
“Vietnam is fully aware of the threat of corruption, and considers corruption as a national disaster and the fight against corruption as a very important task,” he said, adding “The Vietnamese Government always encourages the press to take an active part in the fight against corruption in a comprehensive, thorough and lawful manner.”
On October 15, the Hanoi People’s Court sentenced Chien to two years in prison and Hai to 24-month non-custodial sentence after being found guilty of the charge of “abusing democratic freedom rights to infringe upon the interests of the State, the legitimate rights and interests of organisations and individuals” under Clause 2 Article 258 of the Penal Code.