Vietnam Arrests Nguyen Van Nghiem for “Conducting Anti-state Propaganda” Allegation, 18th  Facebooker Detained for Online Activities So Far This Year

Facebooker Nguyễn Văn Nghiêm


Defend the Defenders, November 5, 2019


Authorities in Vietnam’s northern province of Hoa Binh have arrested Mr. Nguyen Van Nghiem on allegation of “Making, storing, disseminating, or propagandizing information, materials, and products that aim to oppose the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam” under Article 117 of the country’s Criminal Code for his online posting on his Facebook account Nghiêm Nguyễn.

On November 5, officers from the Security Investigation Agency under Hoa Binh province’s Police Department carried out his detention and the search of his private residence in Hoa Binh city. They confiscated a number of his items, including two computers, two printers, cameras, and cell phones.

He will be held for 120 days for investigation and face imprisonment of between seven and 12 years if is convicted, according to current Vietnam’s law.

Mr. Nghiem, 56, has posted numerous statuses and conducted many live streams on his Facebook account on which he spoke out about the country’s issues such as systemic corruption, widespread environmental pollution, serious human rights abuse, and China’s violations of the country’s sovereignty in the East Sea (South China Sea). He has also criticized the communist regime and its leaders for failure to deal with these problems.

His live streams programs on Facebook have thousands of viewers thanks to his outspoken activities.

Mr. Nghiem has been the 18th Facebooker being arrested so far this year amid Vietnam’s increasing crackdown on local dissent which started in late 2015 with the arrests of prominent human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and his assistant Ms. Le Thu Ha.

Since the beginning of 2019, Vietnam’s communist regime has arrested at least 28 human rights defenders, political dissidents, social activists, and Facebookers, mostly with allegations in the national security provisions in the Criminal Code. It has also sentenced 27 activists with a total of 115.5 years in jail and 20 years of probation.

Vietnam is holding at least 237 prisoners of conscience, including 28 in pre-trial detention which lasts up to 14 months.

Trials of many activists are scheduled in the coming two weeks.