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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, October 15, 2018


The high price of freedom in Vietnam

Bloggers in Vietnam are severely repressed

Share on Facebook November 24, 2014, Reporter : Deutsche Welle, Reader : 684

Popular Blogger Nguyen Van Hai, Photo: DW/ Getty news

Bloggers in Vietnam are severely repressed. A month ago, one of the country's most popular bloggers was set free, only to be immediately deported to the US. He talks to DW about his experiences and plans for the future, reports DW.

Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Hai is known by his pseudonym Dieu Cay. He was released from prison in late October and flown to the US almost immediately; Nguyen wasn't even given the opportunity to say goodbye to his family.

In 2008, he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment after being accused of "propaganda against the state," a charge which Nguyen has always refuted.

Nguyen, a former soldier, founded the "Independent Journalists' Club" in 2007, which became a headache for Vietnamese authorities. He criticized the prevalence of rampant corruption in the country and the attitude of the communist government in the territorial conflict with China.

Nguyen believed that the government was busy filling its pockets and it needed to liberate itself from its big and influential neighbor.

In Vietnam, many suffer the same fate as Nguyen. Reporters Without Borders (RWB) describes the situation regarding freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom of the press in Vietnam as very serious.

In RWB's yearly index on press freedom, Vietnam is placed at 174, after Iran, in the list of 180 countries. China is at 175. According to RWB, around 26 Vietnamese online activists and citizen journalists like blogger Le Thi Phuong Anh of Vietnam's "Brotherhood for Democracy," an online network that campaigns for the democratization of Vietnam, are still in prison.

Le Thi has been in jail since May 2014 in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai. She doesn't even know exactly what she has been charged with.

On November 22, during his state visit to the country, German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel met with human rights activists in Vietnam. The popular blogger "Mother Mushroom" and the brother of lawyer and political prisoner Le Quoc Quan were also part of the delegation which met Gabriel.

In a DW interview, blogger Nguyen Van Hai analyzed the current situation in Vietnam from his exile in the US.

Read the full story HERE.




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