06/17/2013, 00.00
VIETNAM
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Further clamp down on web as third blogger arrested in less than a month

On 15 June, 30 year-old Dinh Nhat Uy charged with "abusing democratic freedoms." He faces up to seven years in prison. In May, his brother was sentenced to eight years for propaganda against the state. In less than a year 46 people arrested for activism on line or on the streets.

Hanoi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Vietnamese police arrested a blogger charged with having published a post containing "erroneous and slanderous" information against the communist government in Hanoi. Official state media reported the arrest this morning, according to which this is the third online activist jailed in less than a month, confirming the authorities clampdown on online dissent.

The 30 year-old blogger and activist Dinh Nhat Uy, a native of the southern province of Long An, was picked up by the police on 15 June, and accused of "abusing democratic freedoms", a crime punishable by prison sentences of up to seven years. He is the owner of a computer repair shop. His articles have "slandered the good name of the government agencies."

His brother Nguyen Dinh Kha, a 25 year-old university student, was arrested and sentenced last month to eight years in prison for "propaganda against the state". The young man distributed anti-government leaflets, in which he called for protest against the growing influence of China in the internal affairs of Vietnam.

In the last three weeks two other bloggers were arrested on the same charges used to stop the two brothers: Former government official and blogger Pham Viet Dao, 61, and journalist and blogger Duy Nhat Truong. To date, Vietnam's communist authorities have detained at least 46 between Internet and pro-democracy activists, a number far greater than those prosecuted for violating national security laws in 2012.

Critics accuse the government of exploiting security laws to stop dissent. Hanoi - the focus of criticism from human rights activists, NGOs and foreign governments - responds that "no one" is detained for expressing their ideas in a peaceful manner, only those who "break the law".

 

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