Vietnamese Facebooker summoned for interrogation for slandering comment on police works

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A Facebooker in Loc Ninh district in Vietnam’s southern province of Binh Phuoc has just been summoned by the district police for making comments on Facebook that insult the local police.

The state-controlled media on July 22 reported that Loc Ninh district police summoned the owner of the Facebook account Thuy Quynh Hoang whose real name is Hoang Van Luong (born 1983) to their headquarters for interrogation on the behavior of using social networks to insult the local police force.

This Facebooker on July 12 commented in the group “Channel Loc Ninh 24h” with the content that the police of An Khuong commune and Hon Quan district covered up criminals.

According to information from Hon Quan district police quoted by the state-controlled media, on April 21, 2021, An Khuong Commune Police received a report from a resident saying that she was snatched by three people and she lost a mobile phone, a wallet with VND1.6 million ($$70) and some other papers.

The Criminal Police Team of Hon Quan District Police has reportedly coordinated with the An Khuong Commune Police to make a report, take professional measures to verify, investigate and trace the subject, appraise the property, and notify the district People’s Procuracy. On June 20, 2021, when the time limit for verifying the news expired, but there were not enough grounds to prosecute the case, a decision was made to temporarily suspend the investigation of the case and send the file to the district People’s Procuracy according to regulations.

With such information, the Investigation Agency believes that the comment content of Facebooker Thuy Quynh Hoang is not true, affecting the reputation of the police force and affecting local security and order.

It is not clear what punishment this Facebooker will face. However, Loc Ninh District Police said that it is continuing to consolidate records and handle violations according to regulations.

Vietnam’s Cybersecurity Law, which came into effect at the beginning of 2019, is internationally criticized for being used to suppress people’s freedom of expression online.

Citizens identified as violating this law are often summoned by the police and subject to fines.

The most recent case is the case of a resident in Tuyen Quang province being summoned by the police for posting a video showing a local resident chasing a group of policemen. The police agency believes that the video and status of the poster are untrue and cause public confusion. The person who posted the video has been forced to take down the video and could face a fine of between VND5 million and VND10 million.

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