China Pressures Vietnam on Radio Broadcasters Case
The trial of Vietnamese radio broadcasters Vu Duc Trung and Le Van Thanh, scheduled for October 6, was postponed yet again. The two have been in prison since 2010 for downloading and broadcasting programming to China from Sound of Hope Radio Network, a non-profit organization that reports in English and Chinese languages. The organization says its mission is to “bring China to the world and the world to China.”
In March, 2010 Chinese authorities sent a memo to the Vietnam Ministry of Investigation that accused the content of Trung and Thanh’s broadcasts as critical of the government’s policies against freedom of expression and supportive of the religious practices of Falun Gong. The memo asked “that all illegal activities of Falun Gong individuals in the Vietnam territory must be charged and stopped.” On June 10, 2010, Trung’s radio equipment was confiscated. He and Thanh were arrested the following day by Vietnamese police and charged with violation of Article 226 – “transmitting information illegally onto the telecommunications network” an offense equal to broadcasting without a permit. They have been in prison for 15 months.
The two men are practitioners of Falun Gong, a religious movement that has suffered systematic persecution from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Since former leader Jiang Zemin ordered for its eradication in 1999, thousands of people have been threatened, beaten, tortured, and sent to labor camps by the CCP.
Since Falun Gong is legal in Vietnam and freedom of speech is asserted in the Vietnamese constitution, The Epoch Times reports that the length of postponement for the trial of Trung and Thanh is a result of continued pressure from the CCP for Vietnam to comply with its interests.
Watch a news clip of the story here:
Call for the release of Vu Duc Trung and Le Van Thanh by contacting the Deputy Minister of Investigation and Security, Huong Van Nguyen, at +84-4-38226602 or fax at +84-4-39420223