Prominent blogger arrested in Vietnam for dissent

Featured South East Asia - May 28th, 2013
thumb

Vietnamese police arrested one of the country’s prominent bloggers as par of the communist government’s latest crackdown against dissent.

Truong Duy Nhat, 46, was arrested at his home in central Danang City on Sunday and was flown with a police escort to the capital Hanoi for investigation on accusations of “abusing democratic freedoms” after posting criticism of the communist government in his blog, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported. The offence carries up to seven years in prison.

Nhat quit his job as a reporter at a state-run newspaper “to write about things that I want to write”. He often criticized the government and called for the prime minister and the Communist Party chief to resign.

Human Rights Watch urged Vietnam to “immediately and unconditionally” release Nhat. Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement that the policy used against Nhat was “a legal outrage” that serves interest of the ruling Communist Party.

At least 38 activists have been convicted and imprisoned on charges of violating national security laws, which critics say were used to silence freedom of expression in the one-party state, reports The Associated Press.