The Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security on May 5, 2014 has once again applied Article 258 of the Vietnamese Penal Code to suppress opposite opinions through the arrest of Anh Ba Sam online news editor, blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh. Also arrested along with Mr. Nguyen Huu Vinh is his employee, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy.
Mr. Nguyen Huu Vinh – a liberal blogger – is well known for his regular posts on opposing opinions. He is also known for delivering news about China’s hostile and provocative moves against Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty, a topic the government of Vietnam deemed sensitive to the relations between the two countries and therefore, often ignored.
In light of this incident, the Vietnam Path Movement wants to make it clear that:
1) This arrest is an act contrary to the obligation the Vietnam government has committed to the international community about respecting and protecting basic human rights of its citizens, especially when Vietnam is a member of the UN Human Rights Council. Mr. Vinh and his employee’s arrests amid Chinás continued provocation on Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty over Southeast Asia Sea demonstrate the cowardice of a government whose focus is to extinguish patriotism toward China’s aspirations to expand.
2) The recent arrests show that the Vietnam government is not sincere in its appeal to “ethnic reconciliation” toward Vietnamese living abroad. By depriving Mr. Nguyen Huu Vinh, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy, and other activists’ rights to freedom of expression, the Vietnam government adamantly refuses all contributions from the people toward building a stronger nation.
In its obligation to protect human rights in a civilized world, the Vietnam Path Movement calls upon the government of Vietnam to release Mr. Nguyen Huu Vinh and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy along with other prisoners of conscience who have been arrested for exercising their right to freedom of speech, which is recognized by the Vietnam’s Constitution.
We urge other NGOs and individuals both from within the country and abroad who are working to protect human rights to continue to voice strong opposition so that the Vietnam government will soon realize that – through human rights violations, arrests, and imprisonment of dissidents – they are isolating Vietnam from the international community and weakening the country amid China’s growing aggression in Southeast Asia Sea.
May 5, 2014
On behalf of the Vietnam Path Movement
Le Quoc Tuan