Vietnam has arrested another well-known blogger as part of what critics see as a continued campaign against government opponents.
Nguyen Quang Lap was detained on Monday. Vietnamese officials accused him of violating a controversial rule that makes “abusing democratic freedoms” illegal.
Nguyen Quang Lap is a journalist and writer. He is the second blogger to be arrested in two weeks.
The other blogger, Hong Le Tho, is known by his pen name Nguoi Lot Gach, or "Brick Layer." He was detained last month on similar anti-state charges.
Ngyuen Ngoc Nhu Quynh is a founder of Vietnam’s Human Rights Bloggers Network. She told VOA the recent arrests only increased the desire of the free bloggers and journalists to express their opinions.
“In this situation,” she said, “we at the Vietnamese Bloggers Network think that we must act with more determination. We plan to publicize our campaign so others can participate in protesting article 258 of the Penal Code because it violates our rights to freedom of speech.”
Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh is also known by her blogging name, Mother Mushroom. She was briefly detained last Sunday for taking a photograph with a message in support of human rights. She was taking part in an activity with the German Embassy to mark International Human Rights Day, which falls on December 10.
Benjamin Ismail is head of the Asia Pacific office of Reporters without Borders. He told VOA that Vietnam’s government should obey the international agreements it signed. He said the government needs to act on its commitments to free speech and democracy.
He says that "Vietnam has to stop these actions. Approving these treaties will have no meaning, and will show even more the daily violations against human rights that the authorities commit if they are not stopping this policy of repression."
Reporters without Borders says Vietnamese police have detained at least six bloggers for the same law since 2013.
This report was based on a story from Minh Dao of VOA’s Vietnamese Service. Ashley Thompson wrote it for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor. Jim Tedder voiced and produced it.
Words in this Story
controversial – adj. relating to or causing much discussion, disagreement or argument
detain – v. to keep or hold
penal code – n. a set of laws relating to crimes and the punishments for those crimes