Journalist Han Ni was arrested on charges of “abusing democratic freedoms”

Journalist Han Ni

Journalist Han Ni of the Saigon Giai Phong newspaper was probed and detained by the Ho Chi Minh City Police on February 24 for the charge of “abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the State, the legitimate rights and interests of the state, organizations and individuals” according to Article 331 of the Criminal Code.

Journalist Han Ni (full name is Dang Thi Han Ni), and also a member of the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association, is the person who was reported to the police by Ms. Nguyen Phuong Hang (General Director of Dai Nam Joint Stock Company) to the police of having acts of insult, slander and attacked the Hang Huu fund of Dai Nam Joint Stock Company. Ms. Hang asked the authorities to handle Ms. Han Ni; forced to stop using her image without permission and at the same time compensate for the damage.

However, the Ho Chi Minh City Police has not yet given an explanation about what the specific criminal acts of Ms. Han Ni are.

Ms. Nguyen Phuong Hang was arrested on March 24, 2022 for investigation with the same allegation.

The investigation conclusion of the police agency determined that Ms. Hang through 12 social networking accounts, YouTube and TikTok held many live broadcasts (livestreams) via Internet in Ho Chi Minh City to infringe on the privacy of private life and insult the reputation and honor of eight individuals including journalist Han Ni.

Eight individuals offended by Ms. Hang include: Mr. Vo Nguyen Hoai Linh (artist Hoai Linh), Ms. Nguyen Thi My Oanh (singer Vy Oanh), Ms. Dang Thi Han Ni (journalist Han Ni), Mr. Nguyen Duc Hien (Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Ho Chi Minh City Law Newspaper), Ms. Tran Thi Thuy Tien (Singer Thuy Tien) with her husband Le Cong Vinh, Mr. Huynh Minh Hung (singer Dam Vinh Hung), and Mrs. Dinh Thi Lan.

Regarding the case of Ms. Nguyen Phuong Hang, in April last year, the Ho Chi Minh City Police informed the press that it had accepted the denunciation of journalist Han Ni against Ms. Hang into the case and they had probed Ms. Hang.

Journalist Han Ni (born 1977) was nicknamed the “Steel Rose” by the state press in HCM after a series of investigative articles about the Hello cafe, also known as the “Hello” case in 2016. The investigation is said to have helped the owner of this restaurant get out of jail. The article won the first prize of the 34th Ho Chi Minh City Journalism Prize in the category of Investigative Reportage. (Translated)