17/10/2022 08:27

Vietnam: Is it legal to post images of suspects and defendants on press?

Vietnam: Is it legal to post images of suspects and defendants on press?

No one shall be considered guilty until a conviction has been made by the Court. However, when many suspects and defendants were prosecuted at the Court, their images immediately flooded the newspapers. So, are the press allowed to publish their pictures? “Lan Anh-Binh Dinh”

To your questions, LawNet would like to give answers as following:

Pursuant to Article 9 of the Press Law 2016 of Vietnam, prohibited behaviors are prescribed including “provides false information, distorts, slanders or hurts the prestige of organizations, agencies, honor and dignity of individuals; attributes guilt upon no judgment from the Court”. 

However, pursuant to Article 9 of the Press Law 2016 of Vietnam on journalist’s rights and obligations, journalists have the right to carry out the journalistic professional activities in the public trials; are arranged the separate area for operation; make direct contact with the persons conducting the proceedings and persons involving in the proceedings to obtain information and make interview as stipulated by law.

Therefore, the Press Law 2016 of Vietnam does not prescribe clearly whether journalists could post images of suspects and defendants when judgments have taken effect.

Pursuant to Point c, Clause 2, Article 8 of the Decree No. 119/2020/NĐ-CP, posting individual photos without that individual’s consent, unless otherwise prescribed by law shall be fined from VND 5,000,000 to VND 10,000,000. Currently, Vietnam has not had any documents prescribing other cases.

Pursuant to Article 32 of the Civil Code 2015 of Vietnam, rights of an individual with respect to his/her image are prescribed as following:

1. Each individual has rights with respect to his/her own image.

The use of an image of an individual must have his/her consent.

When an image of an individual is used for commercial purposes, that person is eligible for a remuneration, unless otherwise agreed.

2. The use of image for any of the following purposes needs not the consent of the image’s owner or his/her legal representative:

a) For national and public benefits;

b) For public activities, including conventions, seminars, sports activities, art shows and other public activities that do not infringe the honor, dignity or prestige of the image’s owner.

3. If the use of an image violates the regulation prescribed in this Article, the image’s owner has the right to request a court to issue a decision that compel the violator or relevant entities to revoke, destroy or terminate the use of the image, compensate for damage and adopt other measures as prescribed in law.

Therefore, according to the Civil Code 2015 of Vietnam, suspects and defendants have their rights of their images and the use of their images for posting on press must have their consent.


Nhu Y

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