The government has issued a new decree protecting journalists and reporters with fines to be levied on those who try to prevent them from doing their job.
Decree 159, which will take effect on January 1 next year, aims to protect both journalists, who hold press cards granted by the Ministry of Information and Communications, and reporters, who do not have press cards.
The decree stipulates that fines ranging from VND5 million (US$237) and VND10 million will be levied on those illegally preventing journalists and reporters from doing their job.
Higher fines of VND10-20 million will be imposed on those who offend the honor and dignity of journalists and reporters on duty.
Those who either threaten the lives of journalists and reporters, destroy or intentionally damage equipment (such as cameras) and documents belonging to them, or illegally seize equipment and documents, will be fined between VND20 million and VND30 million.