HANOI Oct 11 Vietnamese police have detained a
prominent blogger for posting anti-state reports, including one
about civilians dying in police custody, which they said
undermined trust in the ruling Communist Party.
Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, 37, known as "Me Nam" (Mother
Mushroom), was held on Monday in her home city of Nha Trang in
the central province of Khanh Hoa for running "propaganda"
against the state, the provincial police said on Tuesday in a
statement posted on their website.
Despite sweeping reforms in Vietnam's economy and increasing
openness towards social change, including gay, lesbian and
transgender rights, the Communist Party retains tight media
censorship and zero tolerance for criticism.
The statement said Quynh posted a report compiling 31 cases
in which civilians had died in police custody, which showed
"hostility towards the police force".
"We're not really surprised by this arrest. We knew this day
would come," Quynh's mother, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Lan, told Reuters.
"This is revenge against my daughter."
In March 2009, Quynh spent nine days in police detention for
receiving funds from Viet Tan, a California-based activist
group, to print T-shirts carrying slogans against a major
bauxite project in the Central Highlands, police said.
Last week, Hanoi declared Viet Tan "a terrorist
organisation" and warned that any Vietnamese found to be
involved with the group would be regarded as co-conspirators and
Quynh had also spoken out against a subsidiary of Taiwan's
Formosa Plastics Corp that caused one of Vietnam's
biggest environmental disasters in April.
State-run media has reported that a provincial court has
rejected hundreds of lawsuits submitted by fishermen seeking to
sue the subsidiary.
Vietnam has been accused of using vague laws to stifle
bloggers and activists who are getting more exposure from the
proliferation of social media in Vietnam, which has one of
Asia's highest concentrations of Web users.
The Southeast Asian nation was holding at least 130
political prisoners at the end of last year, according to the
New York-based Human Rights Watch.
(Editing by Nick Macfie)