Viet Nam: Blogger and assistant detained for two years have committed no crime and must be freed
The trial and continuing detention of a blogger and his assistant who have already spent almost two years in jail is farcical and a blight on the country’s human rights record, said Amnesty International ahead of the opening hearing in Ha Noi tomorrow.
The organization is calling for the immediate release of Nguyễn Hữu Vinh, founder of the popular blogsite Anh Ba Sàm, and his assistant Nguyễn Thị Minh Thúy who were arrested for “abusing democratic freedoms” in May 2014 in connection with political blogs which were critical of government policies. The pair face a sentence of up to seven years’ imprisonment if convicted.
This is a textbook example of the authorities’ stamping out legitimate criticism and perpetuating a climate of fear in which people are forced to think twice before expressing themselves and asking questions of government
“This is a textbook example of the authorities’ stamping out legitimate criticism and perpetuating a climate of fear in which people are forced to think twice before expressing themselves and asking questions of government,” said Champa Patel, Director of the South East Asia Regional Office.
“They have committed no crime but have languished in pre-trial detention for almost two years in blatant violation of both Vietnamese and international law. This farce must end and they must be immediately released.”
There are also health concerns for Nguyễn Hữu Vinh who has been suffering with a skin condition for the past six months for which he has not received adequate healthcare.