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.


Trump Twitter photo attack backfires as Pelosi owns it

Updated 26 min 38 sec ago

Trump Twitter photo attack backfires as Pelosi owns it

  • Trump's Pelosi tweet has being used as a celebration of the Speaker
  • Celebrities who have rebuked the president for the tweet have included Mia Farrow

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump’s Twitter attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following an acrimonious White House meeting appears to have backfired spectacularly.
Trump tweeted a picture of the encounter Wednesday showing a standing Pelosi pointing at the president while he and everyone else in the room was seated, with the caption “Nervous Nancy’s unhinged meltdown!“


However, far from being upset at the picture, Pelosi posted it as her Twitter banner, and her supporters said it showed her literally standing up to Trump.
“Can a woman beat Donald Trump? Yes. Speaker Pelosi does it every day,” Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar said as she retweeted the picture.
“Thanks for the new cover photo @realDonaldTrump!,” tweeted Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill.

Others pointed out that several members of Trump’s cabinet looked as if they would rather be somewhere else.
“The men on your right reflect the embarrassment we all feel,” tweeted actress Mia Farrow.
Pelosi has previously gone viral with her apparent trolling of Trump, with her slow clapping of his last State of the Union speech becoming an instant meme.
After leaving the White House meeting, told the press she prayed for the president and his family “all the time.”
“Now we have to pray for his health, because this was a very serious meltdown on the part of the president,” she said.
Hours later, Trump pressed suggested Pelosi had mental problems of her own.
“Nancy Pelosi needs help fast! There is either something wrong with her ‘upstairs,’ or she just plain doesn’t like our great Country. She had a total meltdown in the White House today. It was very sad to watch. Pray for her, she is a very sick person!,” Trump tweeted.
One of the Democrats who attended the meeting, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, said Trump launched into a “nasty diatribe” against them, while Pelosi said the president experienced a “meltdown.”
Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham rejected the Democratic version of events, saying the president had been “measured and decisive,” and that Pelosi walking out was “baffling but not surprising.”
The meeting was the first face-to-face encounter between Trump and Pelosi since her explosive September 24 statement announcing a formal impeachment inquiry.