|Nguyen Huu Vinh (left)|
Communists Shut Down Bloggers
The Elites of the world are frightened to death of the
free flow of information on the Internet.
Authorities in Vietnam arrested two bloggers on charges of publishing anti-state information, police said Tuesday, signaling a renewed crackdown on online dissent despite the early release last month of three political dissidents from prison.
Nguyen Huu Vinh, 58, who is known by his online name Anh Ba Sam, was arrested at his home in the capital Hanoi on Monday for “posting false information about the state on the Internet,” according to the state-run Thanh Nien newspaper.
Known for founding the political Basam blog, Vinh will be investigated for allegedly “abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the state, the legitimate rights and interests of organizations and/or citizens,” the report said, quoting a statement from police under the Ministry of Public Security.
Police also arrested “his associate” 34-year-old Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy at her residence in the capital for the same offense, saying that the duo had posted articles “that had the potential to tarnish the state apparatus’ prestige,” reports Radio Free Asia.
Thanh Nien said that Vinh and Thuy had been accused of violating Article 258 of Vietnam’s Penal Code and could face jail terms of up to seven years if convicted.
Communist Vietnam, where all media is state-run, does not tolerate dissent and has been using vague charges to detain and jail dozens of writers and bloggers over the last two years.
Vinh was held even though his father is a former minister and Communist Party Central Committee member, fellow bloggers said, noting that his sources were also highly placed.
“He was arrested because he is an outspoken critic of the government,” one blogger said.
Blogger Me Nam said that rumors had spread within Vietnam’s blogging community for more than a month that Vinh would be arrested, adding that she was surprised police had only moved against him so recently.
Other bloggers told RFA that they believe Vinh was involved in two other well-known political blogs, Chep Su Viet and Dien Dan Xa Hoi Dan Su, both of which were shut down by authorities.