Mother Says Her Son Was Detained For Online Dissent Against Gov’t

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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The mother of a 23-year-old Vietnamese man says the police detained her son some time last week because he posted anti-government material on the internet, according to a Reuters report published Friday.

Authorities are reportedly accusing Tran Hoang Phuc of stockpiling content that objects to the government and disseminating the material through the internet.

The ruling Communist Party has been assertive with their enforcement of strict censorship over the media and everyday citizens. Phuc’s arrest is just one of several such incidences in recent months, as the country continues its crackdown on dissent.

Vietnamese authorities arrested a different blogger in 2016 for posting comments criticizing the state. A 52-year-old doctor named Ho Van Hai was specifically accused of “spreading information and documents on the internet that are against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” according to the Associated Press. His blog was reportedly not accessible for viewing soon after the arrest.

Months later, the police in the country imprisoned an activist who helped coordinate a protest against a steel plant over pollution concerns. Authorities allege demonstrators attacked and injured multiple law enforcement officials. (RELATED: Facebook Ordered To Delete ‘Hate Speech’ After Country’s Green Party Leader Is Insulted)

The problem is not just unique to Vietnam as other countries, like Pakistan and Thailand, have jailed citizens very recently for uploading or displaying “blasphemous” content condemning the state or royalty.

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