Writer: Vi Tran
What is being harassed or slandered on social networks? If you are constantly being annoyed on social media by someone, you can use the “block function” or report such annoying account to the managing system for locking these accounts. However, if a violator makes such activities for a while and they likely have the signs of harassment or slander (for example seriously affects the life of some one as well as his/ her honor, dignity and reputation) the victim should do some legal actions to protect himself.
Our BLawyers Vietnam’s lawyers would like to share our experience on supporting clients on the same cases as below:
1. Send a letter of demand (“LOD”) to the Violator on requesting to stop harassing or slandering
Article 20 of Vietnam’s Constitution 2013 and Article 34 of Civil Code 2015 provided that: honor, dignity and prestige of an individual is inviolable and protected by law. So, no one could use any treatments to offend another’s honor and dignity. The victim of an online harassment and/ or slander (“Victim”), at first, can himself ask the Violator to terminate the violation by sending a LOD to the Violator.
By the LOD, the Victim could request the Violator to:
- stop harassment and/ or slander and delete all harassing comments and/ or posts and the lies on social networks;
- publicly apologize to the Victim for harassment and/ or slander on the Violator’s account; and
- compensate any damage to the Victim caused by the harassment and/ or slander of the Violator.
If the violator continues his breaches after receiving the LOD, the LOD is a clear evidence for proving the breaches.
2. File the civil case to a competent People’s court
Pursuant to the Civil Code 2015, the Victim can request a People’s court to force the Violator to remove the violating information, apology and pay the compensation to the Victim.
As so, the Victim should file a petition dossier together with the evidences of the Violator’s violations to a court. All the documents submitted to the court must be in Vietnamese. Thus, the Victim, being foreigners, must prepare the Vietnamese translations for the documents submitted to competent court accordingly.
If the court found any criminal signs on the Violator’s breaches, that authority could ask the police agency to investigate them and then prosecute a separate criminal case.
The Victim should note that the court settlement could takes time. In addition, the court could not accept all amounts for damage that the Victim requested.
3. Accuse the Violator’s offence
Penal Code 2015 of Vietnam prescribed 2 crimes prescribed that the Victim can consider on accusing the Violator:
i. Crime 1: Insulting another person
Any person who seriously insults another person could receive a warning or be liable to a monetary fine or a penalty of up to 03-year non-imprisonment education. If the Violator committed the offence by using the Internet, telecommunication network or electronic devices, he could bear a penalty of 03-month-to-24-month imprisonment.
ii. Crime 2: Slandering
A person who fabricates or spreads false information to harm another person’s reputation or violate another person’s lawful rights and interests, could be liable for a monetary fine, or a penalty of up to 02-year non-imprisonment education or 03-month-to-12-month imprisonment. If the Violator committed the offence by using the Internet, telecommunication network or electronic device, he could bear a penalty of 12-month-to-36-month imprisonment.
A general procedure to accuse the Violator is that the Victim would submit an application dossier in Vietnamese (attached with evidences) to a competent police agency. If the Police Agency found any criminal signs, they would prosecute a criminal case. Next, they officially investigate the Violator and related parties to issue an investigation report. The police agency would bring the case to a procuracy and a court for next phrase. Then, based on the court’s verdict, he must comply with penalties accordingly.
Of note, both civil proceedings and criminal accusation in Vietnam are very complex and take lots of time and efforts. So, it is important to prepare a dossier will full evidence for authorities have grounds to do their works.
Besides, before implementing any methods as mentioned above, the Victim must collect the true and accurate information of the Violator. This is a requirement for working with authorities and present the Victim’s request for a settlement.
Should you have any questions, just feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.