Magazine article New Internationalist

Cyber-Dissidents Jailed

Magazine article New Internationalist

Cyber-Dissidents Jailed

Article excerpt

VIETNAM

Thirty-five Vietnamese bloggers face prison sentences of up to 20 years for publishing 'anti-state propaganda'. The ruling Communist party has fiercely controlled traditional media for decades but in view of the recent Arab world uprisings - where social media was seen as an important mobilizing force - it has upped its repression of netizens who write on social inequality, corruption and environmental issues.

The bloggers detained include human rights activist Dieu Cay who went on hunger strike for 35 days last June in protest against prison conditions and Ngo Hao, a 65-year-old dissident with ill health who was sentenced to 15 years in prison last September.

The families of those detained accuse the authorities of intimidation. The mother of one detainee, the 45-yearold writer Ta Phong Tan, died by selfimmolation in July 2012, in a state of desperation ahead of her daughter's trial - she was sentenced to a 10 year jail term. …

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