Vietnam withdraws license of news site, issues fine

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Tuoi Tre Online was accused of misquoting President Tran Dai Quang in an article in June that had him endorsing the idea of a law on demonstrations. (Reuters)
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Tuoi Tre Online was accused of misquoting President Tran Dai Quang in an article in June that had him endorsing the idea of a law on demonstrations.
Updated 19 July 2018
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Vietnam withdraws license of news site, issues fine

  • The one-party state controls most media and has jailed activists and bloggers critical of the government, but revoking licenses is rare
  • The website was one of the most widely read in the country, publishing critical content on politics, lifestyle and social issues

HANOI: A popular Vietnamese news website has been suspended and fined about $10,000 after it was accused of publishing false information, as the communist government quashes any perceived criticism.
The one-party state controls most media and has jailed activists and bloggers critical of the government, but revoking licenses is rare.
The Ministry of Information and Communication said in an announcement Monday that the state-owned Tuoi Tre Online misquoted President Tran Dai Quang in an article in June that had him endorsing the idea of a law on demonstrations.
In a separate report last year on highway development, comments posted on the site had also contributed to undermining “national unity,” the announcement said.
The report on the president came days after scores were detained in June, following sometimes violent protests in several cities against planned special economic zones seen as opening the door to land takeovers by China.
An American-Vietnamese citizen arrested during the crackdown is expected to face trial this week.
The demonstrations were not mentioned in the order from the ministry, which said the outlet must pay a fine, surrender its license for three months, publish a correction and issue an apology.
“Tuoi Tre Online must seriously obey this decision,” the ministry said.
The newspaper connected with the site published a note Tuesday in print saying it would comply with the order.
“Tuoi Tre Online will have to say good bye to our readers for three months, starting July 16,” it said.
“During this time, Tuoi Tre Online will proceed with the perfection of its personnel, improving its content so that we can serve readers better when we are back.”
It said several print publications published by the same institution would continue operating normally.
The website was one of the most widely read in the country, publishing critical content on politics, lifestyle and social issues.


Mexican radio journalist murdered, first reporter death of 2019

Updated 21 January 2019
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Mexican radio journalist murdered, first reporter death of 2019

  • Rafael Murua, a community radio station director, had received death threats for his work
  • Murua, 34, was under the Mexican government’s protection program for journalists and rights activists

MEXICO CITY: A Mexican journalist was found murdered in the northern state of Baja California Sur, the governor said Monday, the first reporter killed this year in what has become one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the press.
Rafael Murua, a community radio station director who had received death threats for his work, went missing Sunday night, according to local media reports. Governor Carlos Mendoza confirmed the journalist had been found murdered, condemning the killing.
“This cowardly crime will not go unpunished,” the governor wrote on Twitter.
“My solidarity to the family and all journalists working in Baja California Sur.”
Murua, 34, was under the Mexican government’s protection program for journalists and rights activists, said Balbina Flores, country director for the watchdog group Reporters Without Borders.
The group reported at least nine journalists’ murders in Mexico last year, making it the third-most-dangerous country to be a reporter after war-torn Afghanistan and Syria.
Racked by violent crime linked to its powerful drug cartels and fueled by political corruption, Mexico has registered more than 100 journalists’ murders since 2000.
The vast majority of the cases have gone unpunished — as do more than 90 percent of violent crimes in Mexico.