Draft media law to outline prohibited acts

By Vo Hai, Kim Thuy   April 4, 2016 | 07:07 pm PT
Draft media law to outline prohibited acts
A general view of the Vietnam National Assembly (Parliament) is seen during the opening ceremony of its 2016 spring session in Hanoi March 21, 2016. Photo: Reuters
The proposed update to laws governing Vietnam's media would increases the number of prohibited acts to the media from four to thirteen.

The proposed Law on the Press will replace the original legislation which was introduced in 1989 and amended a decade later. The bill before the National Assembly is expected to be approved today and includes an expanded list of ‘prohibited acts.'

The 13 acts enumerated in the revised Law on the Press are:

1. Publishing false, or distorted information about the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, which:

a) Aims to defame the people's government.

b) Spread or incite fabrication that cause alarmist among people.

c) Provoke psychological warfare.

2. Publishing information which:

a) Sows division among people, between people and State authorities or socio-political organizations.

b) Causes ethnic hatred, national division and separation, or discrimination; violates the equal rights of Vietnam's ethnic groups.

c) Causes division between non-religious and religious people, among people of different religions, between religious people and State authorities, or offends people’s religious belief.

d) Runs contrary to the country’s international unity policies.

3. Publishing information which incites an invasion, violates the country’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

4. Publishing information that distorts history, denies revolutionary achievements or offends the nation or its heroes.

5. Disclosing confidential information, state secrets or violating an individual’s privacy or other information which prohibited from publication by law.

6. Publishing information that encourages depraved customs or superstitions that have a negative impact on public order, health and safety.

7. Provoking violence or propagating depraved lifestyles; describing obscene or criminal acts; publishing information that violates the country’s traditions and values.

8. Publishing incorrect, distorted information aimed at damaging the reputation or credibility of agencies, organizations or individuals; or to attributing the commission of a crime to an individual who has not yet been found gulity of said crime by a court of law.

9. Publishing information that negatively affects the normal mental and physical development of children.

10. Printing or distributing press materials that have had their distribution rights suspended, withdrawn, confiscated, banned, subject to fines for violation of Vietnam's Press Laws or ordered destroyed under the same rules.

11. To obstruct the printing, broadcasting, or airing of legal press materials.

12. To threaten journalists or harm their prestige or dignity; to destroy, or confiscate their property, or otherwise prevent them from carrying out legal journalistic activities.

13. To publish information which contains elements of press materials on information outlets and violates the above-mentioned prohibited acts, except for numbers 11 and 12.

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