An exibition hall of the Vietnam Press Museum in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)
year, the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organisation once again issued
biased, unobjective, and completely groundless assessments when listing Vietnam
among the countries with little media freedom.
The RSF assessments are far
from new but repeat the old mindset from the previous years and show that this
organisation has turned a deaf ear to the reality of the protected freedom of
speech and the press in Vietnam.
It is a fact that the State
of Vietnam has always worked to protect and promote fundamental human rights,
including the right to freedom of speech, the press freedom, and the right of
access to information, which were regulated in the Constitution and related
legal documents and have been practiced in the political, economic, and social
aspects in the country.
Ensuring all citizens can
practice the right to freedom of speech and of the press under legal
regulations is a consistent policy of the Vietnamese Party and State.
Over the past years, the
State has made unceasing efforts to complete the legal system so as to
facilitate and protect citizens’ fundamental rights relevant to the freedom of
The rules set in the revised
Press Law and the Law on Access to Information, both adopted in 2016,
completely match international documents on human rights and the right to
freedom of speech and of the press.
It is regrettable that the
RSF has intentionally ignored the legal documents enforced in Vietnam for many
The freedom of speech,
freedom of the press, and freedom of information in Vietnam are also clearly
reflected in the development of diverse types and content of the press.
In Vietnam, there are now
about 41,000 personnel working in the media sector, 779 press agencies, and 72
others licensed to operate in radio - television broadcasting with 87 radio and
193 TV channels.
Visitors look at exhibits about the Vietnam News Agency at the Vietnam Press Museum in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)
Meanwhile, information from
major international media agencies like CNN, BBC, TV5, NHK, DW, Australia
Network, KBS, and Bloomberg can all be easily accessed in the country.
In recent years, activities
of press outlets in Vietnam have demonstrated the right to freedom of speech
and become an important bridge linking the country with international friends.
Even international media
pointed out the “information transparency” factor for many times when reporting
on the measures helping Vietnam to contain the COVID-19 outbreaks in 2020. Many
foreign newspapers also highly valued the Vietnamese Government’s effective use
of social media and information technology for the pandemic fight.
David Hutt, a British
journalist covering Southeast Asian politics, also held that when the pandemic
broke out, the Party and State of Vietnam were highly transparent and open in
sharing and updating data about COVID-19, which is one of the reasons why
Vietnamese people put their trust in the anti-pandemic measures taken by the
Besides, the RSF has
intentionally turned a blind eye to the fact that Vietnam was recognised as one
of the countries with the fastest growth in internet usage, with more than 68
million internet users, or 70 percent of its population.
The internet freedom and the
freedom of expression on social networks have always been practiced within the
legal framework in order to guarantee cybersecurity and prevent the abuse of
social networks to violate Vietnamese law or create a pretext for external
forces to intervene in the country.
In Vietnam, no one is brought
to trial or arrested just for expressing their opinions or protecting human
rights. Only the ones who take advantage of the freedom of speech or of the
press to infringe the State’s interests, the rights and legitimate interests of
collectives or individuals, and break the law are handled as in line with legal
regulations. That matches international law as well as law in many countries.
It is obvious that the
guaranteed freedom of speech and of the press in Vietnam is an undeniable
reality. The RSF has intentionally negated the Vietnamese Party and State’s efforts
in this regard to make wrong and groundless assessments.
Its arguments show that this
organisation, with bad intentions, is distorting and twisting the truth about
the freedom of the press in Vietnam. The RSF itself is running counter to the
journalism principle of respecting and not distorting the truth./.