Vietnamese journalist Nguyen Hoai Nam is serving a two-year sentence on anti-state charges for his critical reporting on alleged government corruption. He was arrested by police in Ho Chi Minh City on April 3, 2021.
On April 5, 2022, the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City sentenced Nam to three years and six months in prison under Article 331 of the penal code, an anti-state provision that bans “abusing freedom and democracy to infringe on the legal interests of the state, organizations, and individuals,” news reports said.
The charges stemmed from Nam’s critical reporting on how authorities handled a corruption case at the Vietnam Inland Waterways Agency, according to those reports. He posted his reporting on his personal Facebook page, which has about 7,600 followers.
According to the police investigation, Nam had made false allegations about an official cover-up of wrongdoings at the agency that were the subject of a court trial, the reports said. Nam also frequently posted criticism of ruling Communist Party officials, reports said.
Nam, who previously reported for state media outlets including Phap Luat (Law Journal), Thanh Nien (Youth Newspaper), and Voice of Vietnam Radio, posts independent reporting and commentary on Facebook, according to news reports.
On August 4, 2022, the High People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City reduced Nam’s sentence on appeal from three years and six months to two years, according to news reports. Nam denied the charges at the hearing and testified that his reporting contributed to the country’s fight against corruption.
Nam was being held at Ho Chi Minh City’s Chi Hoa Prison, according to The 88 Project, an independent rights group that monitors the status of Vietnamese political prisoners.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, which oversees the country’s prison system, did not respond to CPJ’s emailed requests for comment about Nam’s conviction and his health and treatment in prison sent in late 2023.