Vietnamese YouTubers fined for video of rock resembling monk

The whereabouts of Thich Minh Tue are still unknown after he went missing for a second time.
By RFA Vietnamese
Screenshot from a video of the rock said to resemble Thich Minh Tue.
YouTube: Buddhism and Life

Vietnamese authorities have fined two social media users for posting videos of a rock said to resemble “barefoot monk” Thich Minh Tue.

Tue, whose real name is Le Anh Tu, became a social media sensation in May when influencers documented his journey across Vietnam on TikTok and other social media platforms. 

On July 4, police in An Giang province, along with Vietnam’s Department of Cyber Security and High-Tech Crime Prevention, said they had fined two people the equivalent of US$200 each for their YouTube posts.

They said two men – identified only as HVT, 32, from Kien Giang province, and TTH, 40, from An Giang province – posted videos on their accounts of the monk-like rock.

Authorities said the clips of the huge rock on a forested slope violated a decree on “regulations on administrative sanctions for violations in the fields of post, telecommunications, radio frequencies, information technology and electronic transactions”.

However, they added that since they were first offenses, the two men had confessed and their families faced difficult circumstances, they were only fined VND 5 million each.


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Tue’s whereabouts are not known, prompting concern at home and abroad. 

On July 1, his brother wrote to police in Gia Lai province, asking if they knew what had happened to him.

“After nearly 20 days, the family was completely unaware of Minh Tue’s mental and health condition, so our family in particular and many beloved Buddhists in the country and internationally are very confused and worried,” the brother said in his letter.

Vietnamese media reported that Tue had voluntarily chosen to retreat from the public eye.

Tue, 43, dresses and acts like a monk but the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, says he is not part of the state-sanctioned religious group.

Translated by RFA Vietnamese. Edited by Mike Firn and Taejun Kang.


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