HANOI (Reuters) – A court in Vietnam on Monday sentenced a man to 1-1/2 years in prison for uploading anti-state posts to Facebook, the security ministry said, days after Facebook sources told Reuters they had agreed to censor more content in the Southeast Asian country.
Chung Hoang Chuong, who posts under the name “Lucky Chuong” on the social media platform, was charged with “abusing the rights to democracy and freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the State” at a one-day trial in the southern province of Can Tho, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said in a news release.
Chuong, 43, was accused of writing “anti-state” posts and making comments which insulted three policemen killed in a clash with protesters near Hanoi in January this year, the MPS said.
Reuters could not reach Chuong’s lawyer for comment.
Despite sweeping economic reform and increasing openness to social change, Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party retains tight media censorship and does not tolerate criticism.
Facebook’s local servers in Vietnam were taken offline earlier this year, slowing local traffic to a crawl until it agreed to significantly increase censorship of “anti-state” posts so that people in Vietnam do not see them, two sources at the company told Reuters on Apr. 21.
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