Freedom of expression and press in Vietnam

09/05/2014


Freedom of expression and press is always a global issue. It not only concerns leaders of all nations but also a basic human right, a fundamental need in any country during the process of development, particularly in this era of the information explosion. However, in a specific political regime, the connotation of freedom of expression and press is understood differently, due to different approaches and even the opposing political motivations of various interest groups.
Freedom of expression and press is one of the fundamental human goals, to obtain their right to information, public discussion, communication, reflecting the people’s will and aspirations publicly through the mass media.
That is a fact when the ruling class still plays a progressive role in history, freedom of expression and the press play an important role in social development. And, on the contrary, when the ruling class becomes a force that hinders society’s progress, “freedom of expression” cannot be obtained, in the literal meaning of this phrase. By analyzing subjective and objective conditions in any political regime and society, it can be said that there is no pure freedom of expression and press; not to mention the so-called “absolute freedom of press” as the bourgeois class claims.
In capitalist society, the press operates in accordance with bourgeois law. What they call “freedom of press” has been truncated in the interests of the ruling class. For example: The US Constitution stipulates that Congress has no right to issue any document that limits freedom of the press and speech. However, in 1789 the US Congress passed an Act that said the writing, printing, and delivering of any untruthful, offensive or malicious documents against the government were crimes.
The laws of other countries, in principle, acknowledge freedom of press and speech, but do not consider it an “absolute freedom”. This completely corresponds to the UN 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights, whose article 29 states that “in the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society”.
These examples show that no single country in the world considers “freedom of expression” and “freedom of the press” as absolutes.
Freedom of press in Vietnam
In its legal aspects, all Vietnam’s constitutional have so far (1946, 1959, 1980, 1992) included regulations on freedom of expression and press, saying this one of the most fundamental rights of the people and all citizens. With each redrafting of the Constitution these regulations are inherited and developed to match Vietnam’s specific conditions and historical circumstances.
Those who lack good will say that in Vietnam there is no freedom of press because there is no private press (!). They deliberately ignore the fact that in the recent past, the Vietnamese press has made a giant leap forward in terms of quantity, formats, publications, the number of media practitioners, and quantity of audiences, technological facilities, financial capacity, and the various communication agencies’ increased positive impact on society. Almost all ministries, branches, sectors and organizations from central to local level, social classes and strata, professional associations, circles and major religions have their own newspapers.
In Vietnam, the press has truly been the organ of the Party, State, political, social and professional organizations; a forum and an important tool to protect the interests and rights to freedom for people from all walks of life. Everyone has the right to express their aspirations, opinions and recommendations on all aspects of our social life via the mass media, including the press. Furthermore, by working for or being a member of an organization, a person is provided with a publication of that organization to make sure that all his/her demands and rights to be informed are met. That’s why, the majority of social strata in Vietnam find it unnecessary to have a privately-published newspaper.
Freedom of the press is relative in any society because freedom of the press should be exercised in accordance with the law, guided by law and suitable to the specific historical conditions of each country. Opportunists and hostile forces have spread the news: “Vietnam suppresses dissidents” (!). This is a sheer fabrication and slander. In fact several people have faced administrative or legal processes due to their use of the mass-media to distort and cook up information in order to incite protests against the Vietnamese Party and State.
Reality has proved that in Vietnam there is genuine freedom of expression and the press based on a journalist’s strict compliance with the law and upholding their social responsibilities and duties as citizens during national construction and defence. If someone deliberately takes advantage of democracy and freedom of expression and press to publicly oppose the Party and State and runs counter to national interests, he/she will be dealt with equally and strictly by the administration or law. This is evident and not different from any independent, sovereign country!
Chia sẻ bài viết ^^
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All comments [ 10 ]


Huy Quốc 9/5/14 19:47

I don't see where press and reports can express their opinions publicly like in Vietnam. What more do they want?

Vân Nhàn 9/5/14 19:50

Freedom of the press is relative in any society because freedom of the press should be exercised in accordance with the law, guided by law and suitable to the specific historical conditions of each country

Hoàng Lân 9/5/14 20:00

The government should have measures to monitor press activities to make sure they operates into right direction for national interests.

Lê Tín 9/5/14 20:12

We already have enough freedom of expression and press!

Phạm Hiếu 9/5/14 20:16

I agree with Van Nhan, there is always limit for freedom of expression and press in any country, even US, France,...

Quốc Cường 9/5/14 21:49

In Vietnam, reporters and journalists have a certain position in society and they still want more, unacceptable!

Quân Hoàng 9/5/14 21:55

They should be careful about what they post on Internet. A young man who posted some provocative statements that go against national interests even on his Facebook has been condemned by many people and wanted to beat him.

Quốc Kiên 9/5/14 22:01

In Vietnam, Everyone has the right to express their aspirations, opinions and recommendations on all aspects of our social life via the mass media, including the press.

Hùng Quân 9/5/14 22:13

Hostile forces and reactionaries still call for freedom of expression and press, I don't know what they think.

Huy Lâm 9/5/14 22:26

They should take some recent arrests of Nguyen Huu Vinh - blogger Anhbasam and others bloggers as examples to consider the way they do their jobs.

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