Vietnam rejects US resolution on internet freedom
Hanoi - Vietnam has rejected a US congressional resolution calling on it to release imprisoned bloggers and respect internet freedom, the official Vietnam News reported Friday.
"Adoption of a resolution on an issue of Vietnam's internal affairs by the US House of Representatives is neither in line with the practice of relationships between countries nor with the developing relations between Vietnam and the US," the newspaper quoted government spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga as saying.
Nga's response came after Wednesday's passage of a House resolution that calls on the country to repeal laws that restrict freedom of expression on the internet and to release people imprisoned under such laws. Nga called the resolution "biased and untrue."
"In Vietnam, no one is arrested, detained or tried for expressing their views," Nga said.
One of the laws the US House criticized was Article 88 of Vietnam's legal code, which criminalizes "spreading propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam." Earlier this month, nine dissidents were sentenced to multiyear prison terms under Article 88 for publicly criticizing government policies.
Vietnam has about 22 million internet users, or more than 25 per cent of the population, according to the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications.
Regulations prohibit users from using the internet to criticize the government or the ruling Communist Party. The government has in recent months detained or imprisoned a number of popular bloggers for posting information critical of the government.
Deutsche Presse Agentur -October 23, 2009
Vietnam reacts to US resolution on internet
Vietnam has expressed its opposition to the US House of Representatives’ resolution on freedom of internet in Vietnam, saying that information in the resolution was biased and untrue.
“Adoption of a resolution on an issue of Vietnam’s internal affairs by the US House of Representatives is neither in line with the practice on relationship between countries nor with the developing relations between Vietnam and the US,” Vietnamese spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga told reporters in Hanoi on Oct. 22 in response to queries about Vietnam’s reaction to the US House of Representatives’ passing of Resolution H.RES.672 on Oct. 21.
The State of Vietnam always respects and ensures citizens’ fundamental freedoms, including the rights to freedom of the press and speech. In Vietnam , no one is arrested, detained or tried for expressing their views, she stressed.
The internet is given favourable conditions and has seen exponential growth in Vietnam in recent time. There are nearly 22 million internet users, which account for more than 25 percent of the country’s population, which is higher than the average level of 18.17 percent in Asia , she said.
The International Telecommunications Union acknowledged that Vietnam is among the top 10 nations with the world’s fastest internet development in the 2002-2007 period.
“ Vietnam ’s state management of electronic information ensures that the field operates in line with the law and develops in a healthy manner, contributing to the exchange of information, the enhancement of understanding, and to the stability and development of the society and the country,” Ms Nga said.
Addressing another issue at the regular briefing, the spokeswoman expressed Vietnam ’s deep concern over the news that the Indonesian House of Representatives on Sept. 30 revised the 2004 Law on Fisheries, which allows patrol ships to fire upon and sink illegal foreign fishing vessels in Indonesian waters.
She said that Indonesia should handle foreign fishermen who violate Indonesian territorial waters in a spirit of humanity, in accordance with international law, the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, bilateral agreements, ASEAN solidarity and friendship between Indonesia and other countries, especially at a time when Indonesia and several other nations have not yet clearly demarcated their maritime borders.
Vietnam News Agency - October 23, 2009