The Vietnam government's campaign of repression against online journalists intensified this year. Sixteen of the 18 journalists behind bars had published blogs or contributed to online news publications, according to CPJ's annual prison census conducted December 1. In January, a group of five independent bloggers were sentenced to long prison
terms and years of house arrest on anti-state charges related to their journalism. Three other bloggers, Truong Duy Nhat, Pham Viet Dao, and Dinh Nhat Uy, were detained on charges of "abusing democratic freedoms," a criminal offense punishable by seven years' imprisonment under the penal code. In October, Uy was given a 15-month suspended prison sentence and one year of house arrest on the charges, the first time a blogger was convicted specifically for using Facebook. Authorities used at least three vague laws to harass and jail journalists. A new decree further restricted online freedoms, barring bloggers from linking to foreign news sites, among other provisions. The law also aimed to make global Internet companies complicit in the government's online crackdown by requiring them to reveal the identity of any of their services' users perceived to be in violation of Vietnamese law.