Vietnam police arrest dissident for alleged bid to overthrow government

July 25, 2017 2:16 pm

This file photo taken on August 10, 2011 shows French-Vietnamese blogger and lecturer Pham Minh Hoang (C) being led out from a courtroom in Ho Chi Minh City. (By AFP)

Vietnamese authorities have taken into custody a well-known dissident for allegedly engaging in efforts aimed at overthrowing the government.
Police officials in central Nghe An province announced on their website that 51-year-old Le Dinh Luong was detained on Monday, saying he had been engaged in “regular activities with the aim to overthrow the authority and complicate local security,” without elaborating, Reuters reported Tuesday.
According to the report, several dissidents and bloggers have expressed support for the dissident online as many critics prefer to use web blogs and social media sites to voice their grievances since the government tightly controls information.
The development came after a Vietnamese court jailed prominent blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, known as “Me Nam” (Mother Mushroom) for 10 years last month on charges of disseminating what it described as propaganda against the state.
According to Quynh’s attorney, she was convicted at a one-day trial and sentenced to six months in prison following her detention for allegedly posting what authorities referred to as anti-state reports, including one about civilians dying in police custody.
Both Luong and Quynh had spoken out against a subsidiary of Taiwanese Formosa Plastics Corporation, which in April caused one of ’s largest environmental disasters.
This is while another dissident, Tran Thi Nga, who was also detained back in January on charges of publishing propaganda against state, was due to go on trial later on Tuesday. 
Despite extensive reforms in the Vietnamese economy and the nation’s increasing openness to social change, Vietnam’s Communist Party still maintains rigid control of the country’s media outlets and has little tolerance for public criticism.
Meanwhile, the US-based rights group, the Human Rights Watch, published a report in June, stating that Vietnamese human rights bloggers were being beaten and intimidated.
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