DECREE : DETAILING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PRESS LAW AND THE LAW AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING A NUMBER OF ARTICLES OF THE PRESS LAW 2002

THE GOVERNMENT luatbaochi

Pursuant to the December 25, 2001 Law on Organization of the Government;

Pursuant to the December 28, 1989 Press Law;

Pursuant to the June 12, 1999 Law Amending and Supplementing a Number of Articles of the Press Law;

With a view to ensuring the citizens right to freedom of the press and speech in the press, protecting and creating conditions for the press bodies and journalists to exercise their right to carry out press activities under law provisions;

In order to enhance the State management over press activities;

At the proposal of the Minister of Culture and Information,

DECREES:

Chapter I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1.- Term interpretation:

In this Decree, the following terms shall be construed as follows:

1. “Press” is the common name used to refer collectively to print journalism, radio journalism, television journalism and electronic journalism.

2. “Print journalism” refers to the type of press, made by means of printing (newspapers, magazines, news bulletins, newsletters).

3. “Radio journalism” refers to the type of press, made on radio waves (radio programs).

4. “Television journalism” refers to the type of press, made on television frequencies (television programs, audio-visual news programs implemented by various means).

5. “Online journalism” refers to the type of press, made on computer information networks (Internet, Intranet).

6. “News bulletins” mean the State news agency’s periodical publications carrying domestic and world news.

7. “Newsletters” mean the State news agency’s periodical publications carrying topical news, such as cultural, sport, economic news.

8. “Additional issue” means a periodical additional publication besides the principal one, which may be the weekly, weekend, monthly or month-end issue.

9. “Supplement” means extra pages added to the prescribed pages of a paper, which are distributed together with the principal issue.

10. “Special issue” means a publication of the press nature published irregularly, focusing on a specific event or topic.

11. “Additional program” means a periodical radio or television program broadcast in addition to the principal program.

12. “Special program” means an irregular radio or television program, focusing on a specific event or topic.

13. “Press conference” means information-providing activities of organizations or individuals before representatives of the press bodies and journalists for the purpose of announcing, declaring or explaining matters concerning the tasks or interests of such organizations or individuals.

14. “Press copyright deposit” means activities of submitting press products by the press bodies to the competent State management agencies for keeping and inspection before distribution.

15. “Press distribution” means the circulation of press products to the press users by various means.

16. “Press advertisement” means a form of notifying or introducing to the public the business activities, goods, commercial services and non-commercial services of organizations or individuals through the various types of press.

17. “Publishing, broadcasting in the press” means the publication of information on the press.

18. “Press works” refer collectively to all kinds of news, articles, photos… already printed or broadcast in the press. 

Chapter II

CITIZENS RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH
IN THE PRESS

Article 2.- Responsibilities of the press bodies

1. The press bodies shall exercise the right to freedom of the press and have to ensure the citizens right to freedom of the press and freedom of speech in the press according to the provisions of Vietnamese law.

2. The press bodies shall have to receive and publish or broadcast the citizens proposals, criticisms, news, articles, photos and other press works, whose contents are compatible with their guiding principles, objectives, service subjects and information orientations, not violating Article 10 of the Press Law and specific provisions of this Decree. In case of not publishing or broadcasting, within thirty (30) days, the press bodies shall have to reply the authors in writing or publish or broadcast their replies in the press in form of letter-box or message.

3. Upon receiving written replies from the State agencies competent to settle complaints and denunciations or from agencies, organizations or individuals regarding proposals or criticisms about matters raised or received by the press, the press bodies shall have to notify them to the organizations or citizens that have made complaints, denunciations, proposals or criticisms or print or broadcast such replies on their own press within ten (10) days, for the dailies, radio and television, fifteen (15) days for the weeklies, and on the nearest issue, for magazines.

Article 3.- Responsibilities of organizations and competent persons

When the State agencies, Party organizations, social organizations (referred collectively to as organizations) or competent persons receive opinions, proposals, criticisms and/or complaints from organizations and/or citizens, or citizens denunciations, forwarded by press bodies or published or broadcast in the press, within thirty (30) days after receiving them or after they are printed or broadcast in the press, the heads of such organizations or the competent persons shall have to notify the press bodies of the handling results or measures.

Past the above-said time limit, if not receiving any notices from the heads of the organizations or competent persons, the press bodies may transfer the citizens opinions, proposals, criticisms, complaints and/or denunciations to the higher-level agencies for settlement or raise the matters in the press.

Chapter III

TASKS AND POWERS OF THE PRESS

Article 4.- Correction in the press

1. When the competent State agencies make written conclusions that the contents of information in the press are untrue, distorted, slanderous or infringe upon the prestige of organizations, honor or dignity of individuals, the press bodies shall have to publish or broadcast such conclusions verbatim together with their own apologies and/or the authors. The press bodies shall have to publish or broadcast the conclusions in the same column with the same font and size of letters (for the print journalism and online journalism) or in the same program (for radio and television) which has broadcast the said information.

The time for such publication or broadcasting shall be counted from the date the press bodies receive the written conclusions, as follows: five (5) days for the dailies, radio and television; ten (10) days for the weeklies and in the very next issue, for magazines. For magazines published once every over thirty (30) days, besides publishing them on the nearest issues, the press bodies shall, through a daily or radio or television that has an equal distribution area or broadcast range, publish or broadcast such conclusions and bear all the correction costs.

2. In cases where the press bodies or authors detect by themselves that the contents of information in their press or their works are untrue, distorted, slanderous or infringe upon the prestige of organizations, honor or dignity of individuals, they shall have to make corrections or apologies in their own press and, at the same time, send written corrections or apologies to those organizations or individuals.

The mode of making correction and apology in the press shall comply with the provisions in Clause 1 of this Article.

3. The press bodies, which receive written statements about matters raised in the press from organizations or individuals that have grounds to believe that the press has given untrue or distorted information, thus slandering or hurting them, shall have to publish or broadcast such statements in the right column or program where the information has been published or broadcast. The space or time volume for such statements must not exceed the space or time volume having been devoted to publishing or broadcasting such information.

In case of disagreement with the organizations or individuals statements, the press bodies may provide more information to clarify their points of view. Where opinions of organizations, individuals and press bodies have been published or broadcast thrice but no consent is reached among the involved parties, the State management agencies in charge of the press shall have the right to request them to stop publishing or broadcasting the information. Organizations and individuals shall have the right to lodge complaints to the parent agencies of the concerned press bodies and/or the State management agencies in charge of the press or initiate lawsuits at courts according to law provisions.

The procedures and time for publishing or broadcasting statements of organizations and individuals shall comply with the provisions in Clause 1 of this Article.

The press bodies may refuse to publish or broadcast statements of organizations or individuals if such statements violate laws, infringe upon the prestige or honor of the press bodies or the authors. In that case, the press bodies shall have to send written notices to the concerned organizations or individuals, clearly stating the reasons therefor and, at the same time, send reports to the State management agencies in charge of the press.

Article 5.- Things which must not be informed in the press

To specify the provisions of Article 10 of the Press Law as follows:

1. Not to publish or broadcast those press, artistic or literary works or documents in contravention of law, with contents opposing the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and undermining the entire people’s unity bloc.

2. Not to describe meticulously obscene or horrible slaughtering acts in news reports, articles or images on criminal cases and acts. Not to publish or broadcast obscene news reports, articles, images, pornographic pictures or photos, which are inaesthetic and incompatible with Vietnam’s fine customs and traditions.

3. Not to publish or broadcast personal photos without clear captions or which affect the concerned individuals prestige or honor (except for photos giving information on public meetings or collective activities, working sessions, art performances, sports and physical training, wanted persons, open court hearings or defendants in serious cases, who are serving court sentences).

4. Not to publish or broadcast news reports, articles and/or photos which badly affect the people’s private life or publicize personal documents and/or letters of individuals without consent of the senders or the receivers or the lawful owners of those documents and/or letters. For personal documents or letters related to negative phenomena or law violations, the press bodies shall comply with the provisions of Clause 6, this Article.

5. Not to publish or broadcast news reports and/or articles disseminating bad practices or superstition. For information on new scientific issues, which have yet been concluded, or mysteries, there must be cross-references to sources of materials (the works� origin, place and time of publicization).

6. The use of the Party’s, State’s and organizations documents must strictly comply with the provisions of the December 28, 2000 Ordinance on the Protection of State Secrets.

Regarding organizations� documents, individuals documents and letters relating to cases under investigation or awaiting judgment, the press bodies shall have the right to exploit their own information sources and take responsibility before law for the contents of such information.

Chapter IV

PRESS ORGANIZATIONS AND JOURNALISTS

Article 6.- Parent agencies of the press bodies

1. Based on the Press Law, the Law Amending and Supplementing a Number of Articles of the Press Law and the Government’s planning for press development, the organizations defined in Article 1 of the Press Law shall have the right to directly apply for the establishment of press bodies and become the parent agencies of those press bodies after being granted press body-establishing permits by the State management agencies in charge of the press.

2. The heads of the parent agencies of the press bodies shall direct and oversee the latter’s activities, take responsibility before law within the ambit of their tasks and powers for violations committed by their dependent press bodies.

3. The parent agencies of the press bodies shall appoint, relieve from office or dismiss the editors-in-chief, deputy editors-in-chief (for print journalism and electronic journalism), the general directors, deputy general directors, directors and deputy directors (for radio and television stations, audio-visual news establishments) after getting written consent from the Ministry of Culture and Information.

The heads of the parent agencies of the press bodies and the persons designated to represent those parent agencies to monitor and direct the press bodies must not currently be the heads of the press bodies.

4. The parent agencies of the press bodies shall prescribe the regime of inspection of operations of the press bodies, and periodically report on operations of the press bodies to the Ministry of Culture and Information.

5. The parent agencies of the press bodies shall have to allocate initial fundings, arrange offices, invest in equipment and operational means and provide price subsidy for the press bodies in cases where the latter, due to the performance of information and propagation tasks, have to sell their products below the cost prices or are entitled to operational funding allocation (for radio and television stations).

Article 7.- Powers of the press bodies

1. To be entitled to capital and operational funding allocation, price subsidies and loss compensation, by their parent agencies. In addition to the tax and charge preferences for press publication and distribution activities, the press bodies of political organizations, the press in service of the youngsters, inhabitants of mountainous and island areas or ethnic minority people, external relations press as well as scientific and technical press shall be considered for annual financial support by the State.

2. To organize business and service activities in the fields of printing, publishing and distributing books and newspapers, advertisement, film-shooting, photography and trading in equipment and supplies for press professional activities in order to create sources of revenues for reinvestment in the press development.

The press bodies that wish to expand their business and service lines to other fields related to their professional operations must get consents from their parent agencies and notify such to the State management agencies in charge of the press.

The business and service activities must be registered separately from professional activities of the press bodies and comply with law provisions on the business lines and trades as well as services, which the press bodies are engaged in.

3. To receive and use voluntary financial supports from domestic and overseas organizations and individuals for activities in accordance with the provisions of law.

The parent agencies of the press bodies shall have to guide the reception and use of voluntary financial supports in strict compliance with the State’s stipulations.

The heads of the press bodies shall be held responsible before their parent agencies and before law for the management and use of financial supports.

Article 8.- Powers of journalists

1. To come to agencies, organizations, libraries, museums and exhibitions to gather information, consult documents and practice journalism. When coming to the said organs, they need only to produce the press cards. The State agencies must not refuse to provide journalists with materials and/or documents not falling under the scope of regulation by the Ordinance on the Protection of State Secrets.

2. To carry out professional activities at the National Assembly’s sessions, meetings of the People’s Councils of all levels, open congresses and conferences as well as meetings and guest receptions of the Party, State and/or other agencies as well as organizations, at the invitations and according to specific provisions of the organizing committees of such activities.

3. To carry out such professional activities as news-gathering, photographing, film-shooting or tape-recording at open court hearings; to be given exclusive seats, to contact directly with judges and lawyers in order to gather news or take interviews according to the provisions of law.

4. To be given priority in buying train-, bus- and air- tickets, and quickly sending telegraphs, articles and photos as well as audio and video tapes and disks and other press works when carrying out their professional activities.

5. To be given priority and conditions for smooth travelling in case of traffic jams and enjoy traffic toll exemption for the transport means of their own and their press bodies when those means are used in service of the professional press activities.

Chapter V

STATE MANAGEMENT OVER THE PRESS

Article 9.- Central-level State management agency in charge of the press

1. The Ministry of Culture and Information shall be held responsible before the Government for exercising State management over the press, having the following tasks and powers:

a/ To work out and direct the implementation of planning and plans for press development (including print journalism, online journalism, news agency, radio and television), investment and budget plans, pressman training and fostering planning and plans; to organize and manage the work of scientific and technological research and application in the field of mass media;

b/ To draft laws and sub-law documents, policies and regimes on the press; to guide the implementation of undertakings and policies on the press, policies on investment in and financial support for the press, policies and regimes for the press bodies and journalists;

c/ To grant and withdraw the press permits according to the provisions of Article 19 of the Press Law; to grant permits for the publication of special issues, additional issues, supplements, special programs and additional programs according to the provisions of Article 21 of the Press Law;

d/ To grant and inspect the use of press cards; to withdraw press cards;

e/ To inspect the press copyright deposit, to manage the national press copyright depository.

f/ To commend and/or reward organizations, individuals, press bodies and journalists that record achievements; to examine, inspect or coordinate the inspection of, the implementation of the Press Law and handle violations of the regulations on the press;

g/ To organize the provision of information to the press according to the provisions of the Press Law;

h/ To manage the press and journalists activities throughout the country, coordinate with the relevant agencies in managing Vietnamese press activities related to foreign countries and press activities of foreigners and foreign organizations in Vietnam.

i/ To conclude international agreements in the press field;

j/ To coordinate with ministries and ministerial-level agencies in managing the press in the spheres assigned by the Government.

The Press Department is the body to assist the Ministry of Culture and Information in performing the function of the State management over the press in the whole country.

2. The ministries and ministerial-level agencies shall have to coordinate with the Ministry of Culture and Information in exercising State management over the press, including the following contents:

a/ Performing the functions and tasks of the parent agencies of the dependent press bodies;

b/ Working out planning on the dependent press system;

c/ Directly directing and managing the dependent press bodies;

d/ Settling problems and complaints related to dependent press bodies.

Article 10.-LocalState management agencies in charge of the press

The People’s Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities shall be the local bodies to exercise the State management over the press, having the following tasks and powers:

1. To elaborate projects on local press development planning under the guidance of the Ministry of Culture and Information.

2. To inspect the implementation of the press legislation, policies and regimes by the local press bodies; to exercise the State management over the centrally-run press and the press of other localities which are based in their respective localities, under the authorization of the Ministry of Culture and Information.

3. To organize inspection or coordinate the examination and handling of, violations in the press activities, the import and circulation of foreign press in their respective localities according to law provisions.

The provincial/municipal Culture and Information Services shall assist the People�s Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities in performing the function of State management over the press.

Article 11.- Press inspectorate

1. The Culture and Information specialized inspectorate shall perform the function of the specialized press inspection.

2. Inspection contents:

a/ Inspecting the observance of the legislation on press activities;

b/ Guiding the settlement of complaints about press activities;

c/ Proposing measures to ensure the implementation of the legislation on press activities and improvement of the press legislation and policies.

3. Subject to inspection are press activities of organizations, press bodies, journalists and individuals.

4. Powers of the inspectors:

a/ To propose the competent agencies to commend and/or reward the press bodies, journalists, organizations and citizens that record achievements in press activities;

b/ To decide on sanctions against administrative violations according to their jurisdiction; to propose the competent agencies to sanction administrative violations in cases where such violations fall beyond their jurisdiction; to propose the competent agencies to discipline violators, withdraw press cards or press activity permits;

c/ To request the involved parties and concerned parties to supply documents and evidences and reply questions directly related to the inspection;

d/ In the course of inspection, if detecting signs of crimes, to transfer dossiers to the competent investigation agencies;

e/ To exercise other powers as prescribed by law.

Article 12.- Conditions for being granted a press activity permit

1. Having the head of the press body, key positions and a contingent of reporters and editors, ensuring the press body�s activities.

The head of the press body, the key positions, reporters and editors of the press body must meet all criteria prescribed for pressmen.

The head of a press body can hold this position only in one press body.

2. Clearly defining the name of the press body, its guiding principles, objectives, service subjects and language, for all types of the press; the major distribution area, period of publication, size, number of pages, quantity and place of printing, for the print journalism and online journalism; the capacity, schedule, frequencies, broadcast coverage and place, for radio and television, in compatibility with the functions and tasks of the parent agency.

3. Being in line with the press development planning.

4. Having official headquarters and necessary material and technical foundations to ensure the operation of the press body.

5. For radio and television stations, in addition to the above conditions, the use of transmitters (capacity, schedule, coverage) and radio frequencies must be permitted by the State management agencies in charge of frequencies.

6. For organizations directly applying for permits for the establishment of press bodies in the provinces or centrally-run cities, they must get the provincial/municipal People�s Committees� certifications of their eligibility for carrying out press activities and the compatibility of their application for press activity permits with the local press development planning.

Article 13.- Granting of press activity permits

1. The Ministry of Culture and Information is the body to grant press activity permits, take responsibility for examining all conditions of organizations applying for press activities before granting the permits.

2. Press bodies that wish to publish publications or broadcast programs not prescribed in their press activity permits must apply for permission of the Ministry of Culture and Information.

3. Organizations having no press bodies and wishing to publish special issues must be permitted by the Ministry of Culture and Information.

4. Dossiers of application for press activity permits and publication of special issues shall comply with the stipulations and forms set by the Ministry of Culture and Information.

The Ministry of Culture and Information shall prescribe forms of dossiers and permits as well as regulations, and guide the permit-application procedures.

5. In case of refusal to grant permits, within thirty (30) days after receiving the dossiers of application for press activity permits, the State management agencies in charge of the press shall have to reply in writing, clearly stating the reasons therefor. Organizations, which are denied of permit granting, shall have the right to lodge complaints with the competent agencies or initiate lawsuits at courts.

Article 14.- Validity of the permits

1. Only after receiving the press activity permits, can the press bodies make announcements on the mass media, sign printing contracts, load information on the computer network or broadcast on the trial basis.

2. Ninety (90) days after their permits take effect, if the press bodies fail to commence operation, their permits shall be invalidated. The permit-granting agencies shall have to withdraw the permits. If wishing to continue operations, the press bodies shall have to fill in the procedures of application for permit re-granting.

3. If the press bodies temporarily cease or terminate their operations, they must notify such in writing to the Ministry of Culture and Information 10 days in advance; and make announcements thereon in their own press. In case of terminating operation, the permits shall be withdrawn.

4. For one of the following changes, the Ministry of Culture and Information�s permission is required:

a/ The name of the press;

b/ Its guiding principles, objectives, terms of publication, service subjects, major distribution area, broadcast coverage and language.

5. For one of the following changes, the permission of the State management agencies in charge of frequencies is required:

a/ The type of transmitter, capacity, schedule, broadcast coverage, place of broadcasting, technical properties of transmitting antennas;

b/ The radio frequencies or channels.

6. Changes in the layout of a newspaper masthead, size, number of pages, place of printing, distribution time, broadcasting schedule and time volume, place of broadcasting or headquarters must be reported in writing to and consented in writing by, the Ministry of Culture and Information.

Article 15.- Contents which must be inscribed in the front page, front cover and inside pages of newspapers and magazines:

1. For front page of a newspaper, front cover of a magazine:

a/ The press name;

b/ The name of the parent agency (printed under the press name);

c/ The issue number;

d/ The date of issuance;

2. Inside pages of newspapers and magazines:

a/ The permit number, date of issuance, permit-issuing agency;

b/ The address of the press body, its telephone, telex and fax numbers;

c/ The full name of the editor-in-chief;

d/ The place of printing, size and number of pages;

e/ The period of publication;

f/ The selling price.

Article 16.- Press copyright deposit

1. Objects:

a/ The press published and circulated on the territory of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam must be passed to copyright deposit before distribution;

b/ The press passed to copyright deposit must be clearly inscribed with: for copyright deposit, number of copies to be distributed, date and time of passing to copyright deposit, signature of the editor-in-chief or the authorized person.

2. Time for passing the press to copyright deposit:

a/ The daily print must be passed to copyright deposit before eight (8) a.m. every day.

b/ The print other than the dailies must be passed to copyright deposit six (6) hours before their distribution.

c/ The foreign press imported into the country under permission of the competent agencies for wide-range distribution must be passed to copyright deposit twelve (12) hours before distribution.

3. Copyright depository and number of copies of the press to be passed to copyright deposit:

a/ The press subject to copyright deposit shall be sent to:

– The Ministry of Culture and Information (the Press Department): six (6) copies (for foreign press imported for wide-range distribution, only 2 copies).

– The provincial/municipal Culture and Information Services of the localities where the press is published: one (1) copy.

– The national library: according to the regulation on copyright deposit of cultural products.

b/ The press not published in Hanoi shall be passed to copyright deposit through post to the Ministry of Culture and Information, simultaneously with the deposit to the provincial/municipal Culture and Information Services; the time of passing to copyright deposit shall be based on the postal stamp.

c/ The publications reprinted under permission must also be passed to copyright deposit as for the first-time printing.

4. The press passed to copyright deposit through post must be registered with the post offices in localities where they are published. The press passed to copyright deposit shall be sent in the quickest way and fully to the copyright deposit-receiving bodies.

5. For radio and television programs already broadcast and electronic information already launched onto the net, their written records must be kept at the press bodies for at least six (6) months and the relevant films, audio and video tapes and disks must be kept for at least thirty (30) days.

Article 17.- Press distribution

1. Press bodies shall distribute the press strictly according to the provisions of the press activity permits.

2. The post and telecommunication service shall have to distribute the domestic and imported press on the basis of contracts with the press bodies and agencies permitted to import the press in strict compliance with the prescriptions of their permits.

If organizations and individuals want to subscribe for the press through the post and telecommunication distribution system, the post and telecommunication service shall enter into contract with the press bodies in order to meet the organizations and individuals demand. Charges for transportation to each area shall comply with the distribution charge bracket promulgated by the Government.

Press bodies taking charge of part or the whole of the distribution work shall have to directly manage their distribution networks operation in strict compliance with law.

Organizations and individuals participating in the press distribution must abide by all the State’s regulations on the press distribution.

In cases where there are withdrawal orders of the Ministry of Culture and Information, the press bodies, organizations and individuals involved in the press distribution, the agencies permitted to import the press, the provincial/municipal Culture and Information Services as well as Public Security Services of the provinces and centrally-run cities shall have to execute them. The press bodies or agencies permitted to import the press shall bear all costs of the withdrawal of their publications.

3. The Ministry of Culture and Information shall, together with the State agencies in charge of the post, specify the distribution of the print. The Ministry of Culture and Information shall assume the prime responsibility and coordinate with the relevant agencies in submitting to the Prime Minister for promulgation the distribution charge rates applicable to each region in the country so as to distribute the press to the regions meeting with difficult or exceptionally difficult socio-economic conditions and communities of overseas Vietnamese.

4. The Ministry of Culture and Information shall specify the management of the contents of information received and transmitted directly via satellites, through computer networks and information rebroadcast by radio and television stations, Internet and Intranet establishments of Vietnamese organizations and foreign organizations based in Vietnam.

5. Vietnamese and foreign organizations and individuals may be entrusted by the press bodies and press-distribution establishments to distribute Vietnamese press to foreign countries.

6. The distribution of press published overseas into Vietnam must be permitted by the Ministry of Culture and Information.

Organizations and individuals that wish to import non-commercial press must obtain permits from the Ministry of Culture and Information.

Article 18.- Advertisements in the press

The press may publish or broadcast advertisements. The printing and broadcasting of advertisements in the press must comply with law provisions on advertisement on the territory of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Article 19.- Press conferences

1. Organizations or individuals that wish to organize press conferences must notify such in writing to the State management agencies in charge of the press at least twenty four (24) hours before the press conferences:

a/ The central-level organizations shall notify the Ministry of Culture and Information (the Press Department);

b/ Organizations and citizens in the provinces and centrally-run cities shall notify the provincial/municipal People’s Committees (provincial/municipal Culture and Information Services);

The agendas of press conferences must conform to the functions, tasks and objectives of the concerned organizations.

2. A press conference shall be organized only after the State management agency in charge of the press issues its written consent at least six (6) hours before the press conference.

3. The Ministry of Culture and Information, the People’s Committees of the provinces or centrally-run cities may refuse or suspend press conferences if detecting signs of law violations or deeming that their contents violate Article 10 of the Press Law or Article 5 of this Decree.

4. Foreign agencies, organizations, delegations and individuals in Vietnam that wish to organize press conferences shall have to abide by the regulations on foreign press activities in Vietnam.

Chapter VI

COMMENDATION AND HANDLING OF VIOLATIONS

Article 20.- Commendation

1. Press bodies, journalists, organizations and citizens that make achievements and contributions to the press activities shall be commended and/or rewarded according to the State�s regulations on commendation.

2. The Government shall provide budget support for annual press awards to outstanding press works.

Article 21.- Handling of violations

The press bodies; the parent agencies of the press bodies; the heads of the press bodies, journalists, people involved in press activities; other organizations and individuals that commit acts of violating the legislation on the press shall, depending on the nature and seriousness of their violations, be disciplined, administratively sanctioned or examined for penal liabilities according to law provisions.

The sanctioning of administrative violations must comply with the provisions of the Government’s Decree No.31/2001/ND-CP of June 26, 2001 on sanctioning administrative violations in the field of culture and information.

Article 22.- Competence for handling violations

1. The Ministry of Culture and Information shall be competent to handle administrative violations in the press activities of organizations and individuals throughout the country.

2. The People’s Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities shall be competent to handle administrative violations in the press activities of organizations and individuals in localities.

In cases where the presidents of the People’s Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities unsatisfactorily handle violations, the Minister of Culture and Information shall decide on the appropriate handling forms.

3. The Ministry of Culture and Information shall decide on the withdrawal or confiscation of publications, audio and video tapes and disks; temporary suspension of the publication or withdrawal of the press activity permits; and withdrawal of press cards.

In emergency cases, the presidents of the People’s Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities shall have the right to issue provisional orders but must immediately report such to the Minister of Culture and Information for consideration and issue of official decisions.

4. The competence for sanctioning administrative violations shall comply with the Government’s Decree No. 31/2001/ND-CP of June 26, 2001 on sanctions against administrative violations in the field of culture and information.

Chapter VII

IMPLEMENTATION PROVISIONS

Article 23.-

1. This Decree takes effect 15 days after its signing and replaces Decree No.133/HDBT of April 20, 1992 of the Council of Ministers (now the Government) detailing the implementation of the December 28, 1989 Press Law.

2. All the earlier stipulations contrary to the provisions of this Decree are hereby annulled.

Article 24.- Vietnamese press activities relating to foreign countries and foreign press activities in Vietnam shall comply with the current law provisions..

Article 25.- The Ministry of Culture and Information shall assume the prime responsibility and coordinate with the concerned agencies in guiding the implementation of this Decree.

Article 26.- The ministers, the heads of the ministerial-level agencies, the heads of the agencies attached to the Government and the presidents of the People’s Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities shall have to implement this Decree.

ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT
PRIME MINISTER
Phan Van Khai

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