Reporters Without Borders calls for the release of 35 jailed Vietnamese bloggers

Reporters-Without-BordersReporters Without Borders: Vietnam is the world’s second biggest prison for bloggers and cyber-dissidents, after China.

Vietnam’s bloggers are a source of independently-reported news and information that is an alternative to the government media. They write about corruption, environmental problems and the country’s political developments.

There have been several waves of arrests of bloggers, netizens and journalists in recent years. Mindful of the Arab uprisings, the Vietnamese authorities have been cracking down harder in order to suppress dissent and prevent any destabilization.

The 35 bloggers currently detained include the human rights activist Dieu Cay and the lawyer Le Quoc Quan. They also include Paulus Le Son, Ta Phong Tan, Tran Huynh Duy Thuc and Nguyen Tien Trung. They are all serving long sentences on such trumped-up charges as subversion, anti-government propaganda and trying to overthrow the government.

Their families are subjected to harassment and smear campaigns. The mother of the jailed blogger Ta Phong Tan took her own life by setting fire to herself in 2012 in an act of despair about the way her daughter has been treated.

Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate release of imprisoned bloggers and netizens, the lifting of censorship and the repeal of the repressive laws that are used against news providers, especially article 88 and clause 1 of article 79 of the criminal code.

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