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Court of Appeal reduces journalist’s prison term by 18 months

Former journalist Nguyen Hoai Nam has had his jail term slashed from three-and-a-half years to two. An appellate court in Ho Chi Minh City made the decision on Thursday, according to state media.

Nguyen used to work for major media organizations such as Vietnam Television, Young People and the Ho Chi Minh City Law Newspaper.

During his work he uncovered corruption at the Vietnam Inland Waterways Administration and provided the Ministry of Security’s Investigation Police with documents and data on the case.

Based on the information three officials were charged with “abusing position and power while on duty” and 14 other people were accused of bribery but weren’t charged.

Nguyen disagreed with the police’s finding, calling the handling of the case unsatisfactory. He posted his opinions on Facebook, saying the police “covered up and ignored offenses.”

The authorities said his posts “slandered and insulted the prestige of organizations as well as the honor and dignity of individuals.”

He was arrested on April 2 this year and sentenced three days later for “abusing the rights to freedom and democracy to infringe on the State’s interests and the legitimate interests of organizations and individuals” under Article 331 of Vietnam’s 2015 Penal Code, a charge frequently used against whistle-blowers..

Translated by Anna Vu