Responding to the arrest of prominent Vietnamese human rights activist and blogger, Huynh Thuc Vy, by police in Buon Ho town, Dak Lak province this morning, Clare Algar, Amnesty International’s Director of Global Operations, said:
“This arrest is nothing more than a politically-motivated attempt to silence one of the most powerful voices for human rights in Viet Nam.
“Through her activism and blogging in support of the rights of women, minorities and human rights in general, Huynh Thuc Vy has worked tirelessly to expose violations and hold the powerful to account. For this, she and her family have been subjected to relentless surveillance, intimidation and harassment by the country’s authorities.
“We urge the authorities of Dak Lak province to immediately and unconditionally release Huynh Thuc Vy and call on Viet Nam’s government to end its systematic suppression of peaceful activism.”
Huynh Thuc Vy is the founder of the organization Vietnamese Women for Human Rights, whose work is to promote the values of human rights and support women human rights defenders in Viet Nam. She regularly blogs about human rights abuses, including the persecution of ethnic minorities in the country.
She was arrested at around 7 am this morning, when more than 30 police officers turned up to her house without an arrest warrant. Police returned to her house several hours later and took several items including a laptop, phones, books, clothes and a camera. Currently, Huynh Thuc Vy’s whereabouts are unknown.
Over the past year, the crackdown on dissent in Viet Nam has intensified, with many activists being arrested, tried unfairly and sentenced to years in prison, leading scores of others flee the country.