By Defend the Defenders, October 10, 2016
On October 10, security forces in Vietnam’s central province of Khanh Hoa arrested prominent human rights defender Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh and charged her with conducting anti-state propaganda under Article 88 of the Penal Code.
Local activists reported that Mr. Quynh was detained at around 10AM when she was assisting Ms. Nguyen Thi Nay in contacting with her son Nguyen Huu Quoc Duy, who was sentenced to three years in prison in August.
Police arrested her when the two females went to a detention facility where Duy is held. Later, the police brought her to her private residence and conducted search for documents until 3PM.
Police announced that they will detain her for four months to investigate her activities. Her mother reportedly asked for arrest warrant but the police refused to show it.
If found guilty, Quynh may face imprisonment up to 20 years in prison according to the Penal Code.
Authorities in Nha Trang deployed a large number of police officers to block the areas around her private residence in Nha Trang city. Some local activists tried to come to collect information on the case but they were kept away from the scene.
Ms. Quynh is a well-known blogger with account Me Nam (Mushroom Mother) and her activities for human rights enhancement. She is one of leading figures of the unsanctioned Vietnam Blogger Network which fights for freedom of press in the country.
In 2015, she was honored with Human Rights Defender of the Year by the Stockholm-based Civil Rights Defenders.
She has been under constant persecution of Vietnam’s police for years, including banned from international travel.
Vietnam has intensified crackdown on local political dissidents, social activists and human rights defenders. In addition to sentencing 18 activists so far this year, the communist government has launched violent wave to assault many others.
In the most recent case, police in the southern city of Vung Tau on October 8 detained over two dozens of activists who attended a workshop on civil society. Police confiscated their cell phones and cameras and interrogated them. During questioning, they brutally beat many activists, including Ms. Nguyen Thuy Quynh and Mr. Le Cong Dinh.