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Vietnam Jails Three Dissident Bloggers For Up To Twelve Years

BANGKOK POST (Thailand), AFP ( France), BBC (UK)


HO CHI MINH CITY - The Vietnamese communist party has jailed three bloggers Monday for disseminating anti-government propaganda.

The three bloggers belong to the independent media group Free Journalists Club, which sought to outline human rights violations in the southeast Asian country.

The renowned dissident blogger, Nguyen Van Hai, who is known by the alias Dieu Cay, was sentenced to 12 years in prison. He was previously sentenced to time in prison in 2008 for criticizing the human rights policies of both Vietnam and China.

The Bangkok Post reports that Dieu Cay began to give his closing remarks before the sound was cut off, stating: "I just feel frustrated by injustice, corruption, dictatorship which does not represent the state but some individuals.”

"According to Vietnamese laws, citizens have the right to freedom of speech and it is in accordance with international treaties to which Vietnam is party," he said before being silenced.

Ta Phong Tan, a former policewoman turned blogger on Vietnamese justice and corruption, was sentenced to 10 years. The BBC reports that the writer's mother died in July after self-immolating as a form of protest outside government offices.

Phan Thanh Hai, the only writer to plead guilty, was given a four-year sentence.

The trio will also be forced to live under house arrest for years following their release from prison after being charged with conducting propaganda against the one-party communist state, which bans all independent media.

Nguyen Phi Long, the president of the court in Ho Chi Minh City told reporters: "Their crimes were especially serious with clear intention against the state," reports AFP.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Why The U.S. Lost Its Leverage In The Middle East — And May Never Get It Back

In the Israel-Hamas war, Qatar now plays the key role in negotiations, while the United States appears increasingly disengaged. Shifts in the region and beyond require that Washington move quickly or risk ceding influence to China and others for the long term.

Photograph of U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken  shaking hands with sraeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

November 30, 2023, Tel Aviv, Israel: U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken shakes hands with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Chuck Kennedy/U.S State/ZUMA
Sébastien Boussois


PARIS — Upon assuming office in 2008, then-President Barack Obama declared that United States would gradually begin withdrawing from various conflict zones across the globe, initiating a complex process that has had a major impact on the international landscape ever since.

This started with the American departure from Iraq in 2010, and was followed by Donald Trump's presidency, during which the "Make America Great Again" policy redirected attention to America's domestic interests.

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The withdrawal trend resumed under Joe Biden, who ordered the exit of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in 2021. To maintain a foothold in all intricate regions to the east, America requires secure and stable partnerships. The recent struggle in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict demonstrates that Washington increasingly relies on the allied Gulf states for any enduring influence.

Since the collapse of the Camp David Accords in 1999 during Bill Clinton's tenure, Washington has consistently supported Israel without pursuing renewed peace talks that could have led to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

While President Joe Biden's recent challenges in pushing for a Gaza ceasefire met with resistance from an unyielding Benjamin Netanyahu, they also stem from the United States' overall disengagement from the issue over the past two decades. Biden now is seeking to re-engage in the Israel-Palestine matter, yet it is Qatar that is the primary broker for significant negotiations such as the release of hostages in exchange for a ceasefire —a situation the United States lacks the leverage to enforce.

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