A Vietnamese blogger has been arrested for online posts police have claimed are “erroneous and slanderous” toward the nation’s communist government.
The man under arrest, Dinh Nhat Uy, had been operating an online blog on which he wrote negatively about the Vietnamese government and its officials.
Police officials are charging the blogger with “abusing democratic freedoms” and could face a seven year jail sentence for his dissenting blog posts.
Uy is the brother of Dinh Nguyen Kha, a student who was previously arrested and recently sentenced to serve eight years in jail after charges of attempting to spread anti-government propaganda.
Uy is the third prominent Vietnamese blogger to face police arrest for writing dissenting posts in the last month.
Officials in Hanoi deny targeting dissenters, claiming that no one has been convicted if they have been peacefully protesting and have not violated any laws.
In 2013, as many as 46 anti-government activists and bloggers have been arrested and convicted as part of an escalating censorship program in Vietnam.
Sources have said this a higher number of convictions than were made last year for people breaching nation security laws.
Late last week, Pham Viet Doa, another prominent Vietnamese blogger, was arrested on similar charges. He has been quoted as expressing the importance of citizen bloggers because of Vietnam’s “handicapped official media.”
Journalism is strictly regulated in Vietnam, with all television stations and print newspapers run by the government.
Observers have said this censorship campaign comes in the wake of increased criticism directed toward the leadership in Hanoi. In recent times, the government has faced corruption scandal and accusations of mishandling economic issues in the nation.
While this practice has gained the criticism of the US and human rights groups worldwide, the persecution of Vietnamese bloggers and other outspoken activists seems likely to continue as Hanoi faces increased dissent from its citizens.
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