Vietnam jails another Facebook user over ‘anti-state’ posts

Vietnamese Facebook user Nguyen Ngoc Anh stands between policemen during his trial at a court in Ben Tre province, Vietnam June 6, 2019. (Reuters/Huynh Phuc Hau/VNA)
Updated 06 June 2019

Vietnam jails another Facebook user over ‘anti-state’ posts

  • Nguyen Ngoc Anh, 38, was accused of “making and spreading anti-state information and materials” at the one-day trial at the People’s Court of Ben Tre province
  • Anh, a shrimp farming engineer, was arrested last September after he was found writing and sharing anti-state posts and videos on his Facebook account between March and August last year

HANOI: A court in Vietnam sentenced a Facebook user to six years in prison on Thursday for a series of posts he made on the social media platform which the Southeast Asian country’s government said were “anti-state.”
Despite sweeping economic reform and increasing openness to social change, Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party retains tight media censorship and does not tolerate criticism.
Nguyen Ngoc Anh, 38, was accused of “making and spreading anti-state information and materials” at the one-day trial at the People’s Court of Ben Tre province in the Mekong Delta, the Vietnam News Agency said.
Reuters couldn’t reach Anh’s lawyers for comment.
Anh, a shrimp farming engineer, was arrested last September after he was found writing and sharing anti-state posts and videos on his Facebook account between March and August last year, according to a police statement.
The statement said Anh also incited people to join protests in June and during Vietnam’s National Day in September last year.
Facebook is widely used in the country and serves as the main platform for both e-commerce and dissent. In January, Vietnam accused Facebook of violating local law by allowing users to post anti-government comments.
The US social media giant said in a report released last month that it increased the amount of content it restricted access to in Vietnam by over 500% in the last half of 2018.
A Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment on Thursday’s trial.
Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said on Wednesday that the trial was a show to “frighten others who might dare to question the government.”
“Nguyen Ngoc Anh’s only crime is to speak his mind against injustice and oppression,” Robertson said.
Anh will be placed under house arrest for five years after serving his jail term, Vietnam News Agency reported.


Publicis Groupe veteran Kamal Dimachkie leaves as new successor is named

Updated 20 October 2020

Publicis Groupe veteran Kamal Dimachkie leaves as new successor is named

  • Dimachkie’s career spans three decades of leadership and accomplishment in international and regional markets
  • Shoueiry founded the agency’s Social Content Lab and played a key role in cultivating digital design thinking across the region

RIYADH: Publicis Groupe MEA today announced the departure of Kamal Dimachkie, chief operating officer, Publicis Communications, UAE and Lower Gulf. Dimachkie is a senior executive who joined Leo Burnett in February 1985. The company has appointed Samer Shoueiry to assume the role in conjunction with his current responsibilities as chief digital officer, Publicis Communications, Middle East from Dec. 1. Dimachkie’s decision to leave comes after 33 years with the company. He will leave his current position on Dec. 31 and continue to act in a consultative capacity until June 2021 in order to ensure a smooth transition.

Dimachkie’s career spans three decades of leadership and accomplishment in international and regional markets including the US, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE.

Raja Trad, executive chairman at Publicis Groupe MEA said: “I respect Kamal’s decision. He has been a friend and a colleague for over three decades, and not just I but the entire Publicis Groupe family will miss him. His tenure at the Groupe has been characterized by a clear commitment to values that are central to our philosophy. Kamal’s adept leadership propelled the agency to new heights — we won more than 250 accolades and added numerous international and local clients to our roster. I want to thank him for his immeasurable contribution to the Groupe and wish him all the best for his professional future.”

Dimachkie added: “Leo Burnett and Publicis Groupe have been my life for the past 33 years, and I am proud to have been a part of a glorious journey during which I have had the opportunity to serve the company in different roles in six countries, to have contributed to numerous clients and raised the bar internally and within the industry. Part of this has been the joy of working with a wonderful team and leadership, whom I have partnered with, learnt from and shall forever call my friends and brothers in arms. I am grateful to have lived the glory days of advertising with one of the best agencies in the world and to have worked with some of the most inspiring and creative people. I look forward to working with Samer on the upcoming transition and wish him success in his new role.”

Shoueiry, who will take on Dimachkie’s role, has over 21 years of experience across business, design and innovation. He has consistently delivered a robust performance in Publicis’ Experience Design and Experience Strategy, founded the agency’s Social Content Lab and played a key role in cultivating digital design thinking across the region.

Commenting on his appointment, Trad said: “Samer has a record of leadership and value creation, deep experience in generating groundbreaking brand experiences, as well as a focus on strategic design, innovation excellence and a strong technological footing. I look forward to continuing to work closely with him to drive our digital transformation in the region and support the spread of innovation through investments in our people, technology, platforms and tools. Together, we will ensure that we continue to move our business forward in the Connected Age through a data-led, digital-first approach.”

Shoueiry further added: “Kamal has built a strong foundation for future growth, including strengthening our team and expanding our scope of work. The current climate has accelerated digital transformation globally, and we are looking at a future where online and offline coexist to augment consumer experience in an interconnected brand universe. E-commerce is a necessity, digital equities are your flagship stores, search and social your new outdoor. With this new beginning, I will focus on further strengthening our creative strategy-to-results development to offer the best consumer-centric experiences and build brand value.”