A resident of Quang Nam province has been fined coldly by the police of Hai Chau District, Danang City for wrong parking and insulting the local police on social networks.
The above information was given by the Danang Police to Vietnam’s state-controlled media on February 11.
The incident happened when Mr. K drove a car from Quang Nam to Danang and parked the car on Quang Trung street incorrectly. Danang police posted a cold fine notice on Mr. K’s car glass.
However, Mr. K then used his Facebook account to post content that was alleged to offend the Danang Police as follows: “You damn Danang policemen, it looks like they are stalking me? Less than 5 minutes!”
With the above-posted line, Mr. K continued to be fined by the Danang police with a penalty of VND12.5 million ($536) for his acts of giving false information, distorting, slandering, and offending the reputation of the organization, honor, and dignity of individuals.
In addition, Mr. K also has to pay a fine of VND900,000 for wrong parking.
Lawyer Dang Dinh Manh in Ho Chi Minh City commented on this penalty as follows:
“The word ‘damn’is a word that says the police officer’s behavior is not good, in fact, the police unit they go to patrol and then make a penalty record.
The amount of VND12.5 million I think is too heavy. Agree that there is an insult to the traffic police force in Danang but I don’t think they could impose such a fine.
This was meant as a careless statement due to the thought that the punishment was not correct, not the fact that it was a proclamation, propagating it.
I think just telling him to either take the status down or delete that status, needing a reminder is enough, he doesn’t think it needs to be dealt with administrative fine, especially for such a large amount.”
Previously, on Feb 2, a woman in Danang was also fined VND15 million for a traffic violation and then posted a clip insulting the police on her personal Facebook.
At the end of October 2020, a young man in Quang Nam was also fined VND7.5 million for commenting on social media that offended the reputation of the police force of Quang Ngai Police.
Penalties for individuals posting, commenting, or sharing information that is deemed to offend the reputation and honor of police on social networks continuously occur in 2019, 2020, and the first months of 2021 when Vietnam’s Law on Cyber Security comes into effect in early 2019.
In addition, there have been individuals detained with accusations of abusing social networks to spread false information, reducing the reputation of public officials. The same thing happened on September 4, 2019, with Mr. Tran Dinh Sang – a famous Facebooker with the account “Tran Dinh Sang and his friends.” This man specializes in bringing news, images, and video clips about traffic. Sang was arrested and charged with “resisting on-duty state officials” by Yen Bai province’s traffic police.