Press Uncuffed: support jailed journalists

Vietnamese blogger Ta Phong Tan, who was serving a 10-year sentence for her critical writing, is released early after spending more than 1,470 days in prison in Vietnam. Tan, who features in CPJ's Press Uncuffed campaign, is one of the many journalists jailed around the world by authorities seeking to silence their critics. Five Press Uncuffed journalists are released, but two more are added to the campaign: Gao Yu, pictured, a reporter from China imprisoned for more than 500 days, and Eskinder Nega, from Ethiopia, who has been held for more than 1,400 days.

Data: journalists imprisoned globally
(AP/Jacques Brinon)

Statements   |   Vietnam

CPJ welcomes release of Vietnamese blogger Ta Phong Tan

New York, September 20, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release from prison of Vietnamese blogger Ta Phong Tan and calls on authorities to release all other journalists and bloggers imprisoned in the country. Tan was freed from prison and traveled to the United States, where she arrived late Saturday, according to local and international news reports. The journalist was released after serving three years of a 10-year prison term given to her in September 2012 on anti-state charges in connection with her blog, Cong Ly v Su That (Justice and Truth), which focused on human rights abuses and corruption among police and in the court system.

Blog   |   Vietnam

US-Vietnam strategic partnership must be contingent on press freedom

Secretary of State John Kerry and Communist Party General-Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in Hanoi on August 7. The U.S. and Vietnam are working on a strategic partnership. (Reuters/Hoang Dinh Nam/Pool)

Secretary of State John Kerry's recent visit to Vietnam was made to celebrate the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the former adversaries. While Kerry's speech during his three-day tour emphasized the need for Hanoi to improve its rights record to deepen bilateral ties, it is time Washington dispensed with vaulted rhetoric and predicated future economic and strategic engagement on the release of jailed journalists.

Blog   |   Vietnam

Q&A: Ta Phong Tan's sister calls for release of ailing and jailed Vietnamese blogger

Ta Phong Tan, third from left, was a founding member of the Free Journalists Club of Vietnam. (Nguyen Tien Trung/Flickr)

As an independent blogger, Ta Phong Tan often highlighted abuses in Vietnam's justice system. Now as a prisoner of conscience serving a 10-year sentence for "propagandizing against the state," an anti-state offense under Article 88 of Vietnam's criminal code, she is suffering under the same abusive system she once critiqued and exposed.

July 20, 2015 1:24 PM ET


Blog   |   Vietnam

Dieu Cay on solitary confinement, hunger strikes, and his fight for press freedom

EDITOR'S NOTE: Held in solitary confinement and stripped of his human rights, Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Hai suffered greatly during his six and a half years in prison. The 63-year-old outspoken critic of the repressive Vietnamese government was granted early release from a 12-year sentence last year, thanks in part to campaigning by CPJ. Hai, who writes under the name Dieu Cay (Peasant's Pipe), was awarded CPJ's International Press Freedom Award in 2013. Here, he gives a grim account of life as a political prisoner and pledges to use his new-found freedom to continue his fight against injustice.

Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Hai, who was jailed for more than six years for his critical writing, is living in exile in the U.S. (AP/Richard Vogel)

Blog   |   Vietnam

Jailed Vietnamese blogger Ta Phong Tan on hunger strike over mistreatment

Incarcerated blogger Ta Phong Tan has been on hunger strike since May 13 to protest the mistreatment of political prisoners at the prison where she is being held in Vietnam's central Thanh Hoa province, according to news reports. It is believed to be the third time Tan has fasted in protest at poor prison conditions since she was detained in September 2011 for her critical reporting.

Alerts   |   Vietnam

Vietnamese editor faces anti-state charges for reporting on corruption

Bangkok, May 13, 2015--Authorities in Vietnam today levied anti-state charges against a former news editor who published reports on official corruption, according to news reports. The accusations mark a trend of legal harassment against journalists who probe sensitive corruption issues in Vietnam, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.

May 13, 2015 10:14 AM ET


Impact   |   Azerbaijan, Bahrain, China, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Latvia, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam

News from the Committee to Protect Journalists, April 2015

CPJ launches annual publication Attacks on the Press

At a U.N. press conference on April 27 to launch CPJ's annual publication Attacks on the Press, CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon called on the U.N. Security Council to include in its May 27 debate on Journalist Safety a warning to states that they should not use national security as an excuse to jail, harass, or censor journalists.

The last three years have been the most deadly for the press, according to CPJ research. One of the reasons is the developing "terror dynamic"--non-state actors targeting journalists with violence while governments restrict civil liberties and press freedom in response. This phenomenon was amply documented in essays published in this year's edition of Attacks on the Press.

The book, which emphasizes reporting and analysis by CPJ staff and outside experts, features essays on multiple threats facing the press: the conflict in Syria, where freelancers and local journalists must adapt to an environment in which they are targets; terror and criminal groups, in countries as Syria, Nigeria, and Mexico, which document their own atrocities and disseminate them through social media; and crackdowns on the press in Ethiopia and Egypt, where governments use the threat of terror to justify repression. Several essays in the book also look at the impact of surveillance in more democratic societies, including those in Europe. The book also includes CPJ's list of the 10 Most Censored Countries.

The print edition of Attacks on the Press is published by Bloomberg Press, an imprint of Wiley, and is available for purchase.

May 7, 2015 4:24 PM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   China, Cuba, Eritrea, Hungary, Iran, Poland, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Vietnam

Journalists overcome obstacles through crowdfunding and determination

The rubble of a school bombed by the Sudanese government in 2012. To set up a news agency to cover the conflict, humanitarian worker Ryan Boyette used crowdfunding. (AP/Ryan Boyette)

During South Africa's Boer War, at the turn of the 20th century, a determined news organization relocated reporters, copy editors, and printing presses to the front line to ensure accurate reporting. In the Warsaw Ghetto, during World War II, a literal underground press, established to counter Nazi propaganda, required the nightly movement of cumbersome printing equipment to evade capture.

Blog   |   Vietnam

In Vietnam, arrests dash hopes that crackdown on bloggers will end

Protesters in Hanoi hold up pictures of jailed bloggers and activists in May 2014. Hopes that authorities would end the repression of bloggers have faded with the arrest of three more writers. (Reuters/Nguyen Huu Vinh)

What one hand gives, the other takes in Vietnam. Last October's early release of jailed blogger Nguyen Van Hai, more commonly known as Dieu Cay, has proven to be an anomaly as authorities have subsequently ramped up their repression of other independent bloggers.

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