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2 Independent Bloggers Jailed in Vietnam


Two independent bloggers were detained late last month in Vietnam, including one who is a contributor to VOA’s sister outlet, Radio Free Asia.

On February 29, police arrested Nguyen Vu Binh, who regularly contributes to RFA’s Vietnamese Service, and Nguyen Chi Tuyen at their homes in the capital of Hanoi, according to the press freedom group the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Binh was arrested on unclear charges after being summoned to meet with the police the previous day, media reports said.

This is far from the first time that Vietnamese authorities have targeted Binh. In 2002, after providing written testimony to the U.S. Congress about human rights issues in Vietnam, he was arrested and sentenced to seven years in prison, according to RFA. He was later released in 2007.

Then in 2015, he was among 12 bloggers and activists who were beaten by police in Hanoi, according to RFA.

In a statement Thursday, RFA and the free expression group PEN International called for Binh’s immediate release. Binh was an honorary member of several PEN Centers.

"His case warrants swift attention, and we call upon the international community to join us in condemning his arrest," RFA President and CEO Bay Fang and PEN International President Burhan Sonmez said in the statement.

Binh’s arrest "is yet another example of Vietnam’s unjust targeting and brazen intimidation of independent journalists," their statement also said.

Meanwhile, Tuyen, the second blogger, is facing charges of "propagandizing against the state" and will be detained for four months pending investigations, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ.

"Vietnam must free bloggers Nguyen Chi Tuyen and Nguyen Vu Binh and cease its unremitting harassment of independent reporters," Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative, said in a statement. "It’s high time Vietnam stopped equating journalism with criminal behavior."

In late 2023, CPJ ranked Vietnam as the fifth-worst jailer of journalists in the world, with at least 19 reporters imprisoned.

Vietnam’s embassy in Washington did not immediately reply to VOA’s email requesting comment.

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