News / Asia

Vietnam Jails Two Bloggers for 'Abusing Democratic Freedoms'

FILE - Blogger JB Nguyen Huu Vinh, right, takes photos while attending an anti-China protest, Hanoi.
FILE - Blogger JB Nguyen Huu Vinh, right, takes photos while attending an anti-China protest, Hanoi.
by Minh Dao

Vietnamese police have arrested two activists for posting online material that is critical of the country's communist government.

In a statement, the Ministry of Public Security said Nguyen Huu Vinh and Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy were arrested Monday in the capital, Hanoi. They are accused of "abusing democratic freedoms" by posting content that "reduces prestige and trust in state agencies."

They face up to seven years in prison if found guilty.

Blogger Me Nam, known online as Mother Mushroom, told VOA's Vietnamese service that the arrests are an attack on freedom of expression.

“Basam blog is one of the blogs reporting on hot and rather accurate news on the protests against China’s invasion attempts," she said. "These arrests probably are part of an attempt to try and divide attention over reaction to the news. It also shows that bloggers currently overseas to attend the [U.S.] congressional hearing on press freedom, and the coming hearing on the 12th of May, need to redouble efforts to put stronger pressure on Vietnam.”

Nguyen Tuong Thuy, one of those in Washington for the Congressional hearing, said the arrests will not deter activists such as himself from speaking out, even if they risk arrest upon returning home.

“We are not worried. We have to accept whatever going to happen. Each member in our group has decided to uphold our standpoint," he said. "No one is afraid or concerned, although we all realize that because of our trip to the U.S., we could face harassment or worse.”

Vinh, an ex-policeman, is the well-known founder of the Basam blog, which deals with Vietnamese politics, corruption and foreign policy.

The website often includes articles questioning government policies and has been targeted repeatedly by hackers.

Lucie Morillon of Reporters Without Borders condemns the arrests and called on western nations to put pressure on the government in Hanoi.

“It is very important that the U.S. and European governments and others put the question of human rights and freedom of expression on top of their agenda, and that they mention the case of those journalists, bloggers, netizens who were in jail for keeping their people informed," she said. "They should do everything they can to push for their release.

This is the latest crackdown on free speech and dissent in Vietnam, where all newspapers and television channels are state-run.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid