We Will Not Be Silenced
In this briefing paper, Civil Rights Defenders highlights the rapid spread of information and communications technology (ICT) in Vietnam, its transformative and empowering impact on human rights activism and access to information, and the government’s repressive response to Internet based activism.
Since the founding of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1975, the country has been under uninterrupted one-party rule. Print and broadcast media are under effective state control and authorities exercise prior and post-publication censorship. Over the years, the Government of Vietnam has introduced policy and administrative measures, and invoked repressive provisions under domestic law, to criminalise and impose overly broad limits on peaceful expression online and offline.
Activists and unauthorised civil society groups and networks face grave risks of state repression and reprisals for their peaceful human rights work and advocacy. Bloggers and other Internet activists, an increasing number of whom are women, have faced surveillance, arbitrary detention, physical and cyber attacks, criminal prosecution, and imprisonment.
Despite repressions and restrictions, Civil Rights Defenders is encouraged to witness the growth of human rights networks within civil society in Vietnam during the last five years, which is partly fuelled by opportunities made possible by the expansion of ICT in Vietnam. Greater inter-connectivity has challenged the government’s monopoly on information and countered its attempts to isolate and weaken civil society groups and activists.
Download the report: We will not be silenced.
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