Vietnam Arrests Journalist Truong Huy San for Articles Posted on Facebook – Yahoo! Voices

Vietnam government authorities arrested prominent journalist and political commentator Truong Huy San for “abusing democratic freedoms” through a series of posts he shared on Facebook that “infringed on the interests of the state and the legitimate rights and interests of organizations and individuals.” New York Times reported. San had over 350,000 followers on the platform, according to the New York Times, before his account was deactivated on June 1.

San is known by many as “Huy Duc.” He was taken into custody last week, according to reporting by the Times. Vietnam authorities confirmed San’s arrest Friday night. Vietnamese media indicated San’s home and workplace were both searched.

The Communist Party have targeted journalists in Vietnam for years. Ben Swanton, director of the 88 Project — which advocates for free speech in Vietnam — told the Times, “Huy Duc is the most influential journalist in Vietnam. His arrest represents an alarming attack on freedom of the press and is the latest in an ongoing crackdown on reformers.”

Lawyer Tran Dinh Trien was also taken into custody for the same alleged crime at the time of San’s arrest.

Screenshots shared by the 88 Project with the Times indicated San wrote a post about the country’s police titled “A COUNTRY CANNOT DEVELOP BASED ON FEAR.” On May 28, San posted an article that was critical of Vietnam’s Communist Party chief, Nguyen Phu Trong.

In terms of press freedoms, Vietnam is ranked 174th out of 180 countries in the world by Reporters Without Borders — two spots worse than China, ranked 172nd, and two spots above Iran’s repressive regime, which ranks 176th.

In 2022, Facebook user Dang Như Quynh — who had over 300,000 followers on the platform — was arrested for posts that were found to have abused “democratic freedoms and rights to undermine the legal rights of the State, organisations, and individuals under the Penal Code,” the same broad distinction used to target San.

The one-party system in Vietnam has strict regulations and restrictions on freedom of expression. Since 2016, the secretary general of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong, has intensified punishments against journalists in the country.

On Friday, Reporters Without Borders tweeted, “According to RSF sources, political commentator #HuyDuc, who has been missing since June 1st, is being held by the police in #Hanoi after publishing several articles on the political instability of the regime. We call for his immediate release!”

San worked for several Vietnamese newspapers until he was fired in 2009. He began publishing articles about politics in Vietnam on Facebook soon thereafter. His 2012 book “The Winning Side” retells the political history of the country.

The post Vietnam Arrests Journalist Truong Huy San for Articles Posted on Facebook appeared first on TheWrap.


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