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Official arrests, and strange rumors

While officials are being detained for investigation, false rumors are often disseminated. The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has many times had to deny the rumors.
Former Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long (left) and former Director of Hanoi Heart Hospital Nguyen Quang Tuan

On June 30, Major General Nguyen Van Thanh, Deputy Director of MPS’ Police Department for Investigation of Crimes on Corruption, Economy and Smuggling (C03), affirmed the information about the suicide of Nguyen Thanh Long, former Minister of Health, and Nguyen Quang Tuan, former Director of Bach Mai Hospital, was false

Long has been prosecuted and detained for investigation in a case of "abusing position and power while they are on official duties" related to the Viet A case.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Quang Tuan, Prof and Doctor of Medicine, has been prosecuted and detained for investigation to clarify his responsibilities related to the medical equipment bidding case, which occurred when he was Director of the Hanoi Heart Hospital.

This is not the first time that MPS leaders have had to deny false rumors related to the arrest of officials.

In late August 2020, there was a rumor that Nguyen Duc Chung, former Hanoi Mayor, had health conditions when he was arrested. At that moment, Major General To An Xo, Chief Secretariat of MPS, the spokesman of the ministry, affirmed that Chung was in normal health condition.

In early December 2020, on the sidelines of the Government’s press conference, Xo once again had to raise his voice about Chung’s health conditions.

He affirmed that the latest health examination carried out at a hospital in Hanoi showed that Chung is in normal condition, and had no serious diseases.

According to Lawyer Dang Van Cuong, in the information explosion era, the control of information content, especially in cyberspace, plays a very important role.

The acts of providing and disseminating fake information, fabricating, slandering, insulting the honor, dignity and reputation of organizations and individuals are subject to either administrative fines or prosecuted for criminal liability.

Cuong said that the acts of providing false information which don’t cause serious consequences and have adverse effects to social order and security will be fined up to VND20 million. The fine will be VND30 million for personal privacy invasion.

The acts of providing false information which have a bad impact on social order and security could be subject to criminal proceedings. 

If someone fabricates news and slanders other people to offend the honor, dignity and reputation of other people, though he knows that the news is false, he may be criminally prosecuted for slander in accordance with article 156 of the Penal Code.

T. Nhung

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