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Vietnam newspaper editors dismissed for protesting arrests of reporters

[JURIST] Vietnamese newspaper editors Le Hoang and Nguyen Cong Khe have been dismissed from their jobs at the Tuoi Tre and Thanh Nien [media websites, in Vietnamese] newspapers after protesting the arrests of two journalists [JURIST reports] working for their respective papers earlier this year, according to Thursday reports. The two newspapers are the most popular in Vietnam and were vocal in their protests about the May arrests. According to Thanh Nien, Khe will retain his position [AP report] as board chairman with the paper.

Journalists Nguyen Van Hai and Nguyen Viet Chien were arrested in May for abuse of power after reporting on a government corruption scandal. They were later convicted of abusing freedoms and sentenced [JURIST report] in October to two years in prison. Media in Vietnam are state-controlled despite a "freedom of the press" provision in Chapter 5, Article 61 of the Vietnamese Constitution [text]. Reporters Without Borders (RWB) [advocacy website] ranked Vietnam at 162 [RWB report, text] out of 169 countries for press freedoms in 2007.

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