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Nhân Quyền

The Vietnamese Newspaper

Vietnam Television must retract, correct, and apologize for its false and defamatory statements


Press Release of BPSOS

March 18, 2023

Contact: bpsos@bpsos.org

In its letter dated March 16, 2023, the law office Voss, Silverman & Braybrooke LLP demanded that Vietnam’s state-run media agency Vietnam Television immediately apologize for, correct, and retract its online publication and television programs for false and defamatory statements directed at the law office’s clients, including BPSOS, its affiliates and its CEO & President Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang.

These television shows and online publication include:

1/. Deception using religion to paint a false picture of Vietnam’s human rights achievements (Thủ đoạn lợi dụng tôn giáo xuyên tạc thành tựu nhân quyền của Việt Nam) broadcasted on VTV4 on April 07, 2022

2/. Disinformation about Religious Freedom in Vietnam (Luận điệu xuyên tạc về tự do tôn giáo tại Việt Nam), broadcasted on VTV4 on June 12, 2022

3/. Behind the human rights “classes” (Đằng sau “lớp học” nhân quyền), broadcasted on VTV1’s Evening News on October 8, 2022

https://vtv.vn/video/thoi-su-19h-vtv1-08-10-2022-582682.htm

4/. Refuting the Distorting Arguments About Human Rights Situation in Vietnam (Phản Bác Các Luận Điệu Xuyên Tạc về Tình Hình Nhân Quyền Tại Việt Nam), broadcasted on VTV4 on October 8, 2022

5/. Behind human rights “classes” (Đằng sau lớp học nhân quyền), published on VTV’s website on October 8, 2022

https://vtv.vn/xa-hoi/dang-sau-lop-hoc-nhan-quyen-20221008202741493.htm

6/. Taking advantage of religion as a cover to oppose and sabotage the state (Lợi dụng tôn giáo chống phá nhà nước), broadcasted VTV4 on October 13, 2022

7/. Taking advantage of religion as a cover to oppose and sabotage the state (Lợi dụng tôn giáo để chống phá nhà nước), broadcasted on VTV4 on October 22, 2022

“Anyone reading these statements would reach the false and damaging conclusion that VTV intended,” the letter stated.

BPSOS’ IT Team has saved the backup of the above television shows and publication to pre-empt any attempt to destroy the evidence.

The defamatory statements of VTV would also fit within the purview the “Khashoggi Ban”, a sanctions regime announced by the U.S. Secretary of State in February 2021:

“…I am announcing the ‘Khashoggi Ban,’ a new visa restriction policy pursuant to section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Khashoggi Ban allows the State Department to impose visa restrictions on individuals who, acting on behalf of a foreign government, are believed to have been directly engaged in serious, extraterritorial counter-dissident activities, including those that suppress, harass, surveil, threaten, or harm journalists, activists, or other persons perceived to be dissidents for their work, or who engage in such activities with respect to the families or other close associates of such persons. Family members of such individuals also may be subject to visa restrictions under this policy, where appropriate.” (See: https://www.state.gov/accountability-for-the-murder-of-jamal-khashoggi/)

The said demand letter, addressing VTV’s Director General Le Ngoc Quang, specifies the remedial actions that his agency must take:

“Our clients take this attack on their reputation very seriously. Accordingly, demand is hereby made that you immediately and prominently retract, correct, and apologize for the aforementioned false and defamatory statements. Additionally, demand is hereby made that you provide equal airtime and publication space for our clients’ counter-statements and that, afterwards, remove any defamatory posts and comments, including the aforementioned false and defamatory statements, from public view.”

VTV was given seven days to satisfy those demands.

“In the event that a lawsuit is commenced, our clients will also seek their attorneys’ fees and costs consistent with applicable laws,” the letter concluded.

English translation of the television show transcripts and online publication:

https://dvov.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Exhibit-1-VTV4-Apr-7-2022-public.pdf

https://dvov.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Exhibit-2-VTV4-Jun-12-2022-public.pdf

https://dvov.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Exhibit-3-VTV1-Oct-8-2022-public.pdf

https://dvov.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Exhibit-4-VTV4-Oct-8-2022-public.pdf

https://dvov.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Exhibit-5-VTV-Website-Oct-8-2022-public.pdf

https://dvov.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Exhibit-6-VTV4-Oct-13-2022-public.pdf

https://dvov.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Exhibit-7-VTV4-Oct-22-2022-public.pdf