Prominent activist arrested

A prominent human rights activist was accused of distributing anti-state propaganda and arrested.

Nguyen Lan Thang is well known in the communist country for his social activism as well as his online criticism of the government, which has become increasingly intolerant of any dissent.

The 46-year-old was arrested at his home in Hanoi “for making, hoarding, disseminating and spreading propaganda against the state of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam under article 117 of the 2015 Penal Code”, the capital’s police said in an official statement.

Officers did not provide any other details, stating that the case was under investigation.

Vietnam is notorious for its harsh treatment of those holding viewpoints diverging from the official pro-government line.

Thang has endured short spells in detention, as well as harassment from officers, in the past.

“I’m a focal point for police,” Thang previously told the Committee for Protecting Journalists.

Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called for his “immediate and unconditional release”.

“Vietnam’s outrageous and unacceptable crackdown on freedom of expression has just snared another victim who will invariably face a kangaroo court trial and years in prison for speaking his mind,” said deputy Asia director Phil Robertson.

He added: “Thang’s peaceful advocacy for democratic reforms and justice should be respected and listened to rather than face this kind of unjustified repression.”

Social media reports claimed that authorities had also confiscated digital devices, as well as human rights-related books, from Thang’s home during the arrest.

His family could not be reached for comment. — AP

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Aseanplus News

Record-breaking 'King of Hell' gets a fiery send-off
Asean News Headlines as at 9pm on Tuesday (Aug 9)
Singapore marks National Day in style with first full parade since pandemic
Mounting proof of crimes against humanity in Myanmar: UN probe
Tokyo set to raise taxi fares for first time in 15 years
Phllippine central bank ready to make hefty rate hikes amid stubborn inflation�
Vietnam reports 2,340 new Covid-19 cases
Tourists trapped in 'China's Hawaii' over Covid to start leaving
Concern in Cambodia as orders for garments wind down
Lake Toba forest fires - Indonesia arrests two

Others Also Read