June 17, 2020
Two Facebookers Detained for Political Discussion on Social Network, Accused of “Abusing Democratic Freedom”
Facebooker Huynh Anh Khoa and his family (Fb Bao Ngoc Pham)
Defend the Defenders, June 16, 2020
Security forces in Ho Chi Minh City have arrested two Facebookers named Huynh Anh Khoa and Nguyen Dang Thuong on relation to a group on Facebook in which its members hold discussions about Vietnam’s socio-economic issues, Mr. Khoa’s family told Defend the Defenders.
Accordingly, the detentions were made on June 13. Mr. Khoa was arrested outside by the police of District 8 who took him back to his private residence for house searching. His wife Pham Bao Ngoc said the police did not find anything but confiscated his cell phone.
Mrs. Ngoc told Defend the Defenders that she doesn’t know what allegation (s) her husband is charged with and so far, the police have yet to give her the arrest warrant and her efforts to contact the local police were denied.
Currently, 38-year-old Khoa and his fellow Thuong are likely held by the Police of District 8 in its temporary detention center.
According to well-known blogger Le Nguyen Huong Tra who is residing in Germany, Khoa and Thuong are admins of a Facebook group named Bàn luận Kinh tế-Chính trị (Economic-Political Discussion) with 46,000 followers. However, the group was closed immediately after the arrests of its two admins.
Ms. Tra also said the two guys were charged with “abusing democratic freedom” under Article 331 of the Criminal Code, with imprisonment of up to seven years.
As the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam prepares its 13th National Congress scheduled in January 2021, the regime continues its crackdown on the local dissent and tighten control on social media, especially Facebook, the largest social network in Vietnam with around 60 million accounts.
In recent months, the regime has arrested a number of activists including Vice President of the unregistered group Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam and well-known blogger Pham Thanh, the owner of Bà Đầm Già blog and the author of several books with the content criticizing the communist regime and its leaders.
So far this year, Vietnam has convicted three activists for their Facebook posting and imposed imprisonment of between nine months and five years. In addition, the regime has imposed administrative fines up to VND15 million ($680) on hundreds of Facebookers nationwide for their online activities after requesting them to delete their posts.
Chiều ngày 13/6, CA quận Bình Tân và quận 8 đã bắt giữ anh Huỳnh Anh Khoa (1982) tức Nino Huỳnh.
Theo gia đình cho biết, Khoa bị bắt ngoài đường và được chở về nhà để đọc lệnh khám xét. Do không đưa biên bản khám nhà, hay lệnh bắt giữ nên gia đình hiện vẫn không biết tội danh gì, chỉ nghe…liên quan đến chính trị. Sáng nay, vợ Khoa được gọi đến trụ sở Công an quận 8 (993 Phạm Thế Hiển, phường 5) …để gửi cơm và áo quần ^-^
Được biết, Nino Huỳnh là admin group Bàn luận Kinh tế – Chính trị.2 hiện có 46 ngàn theo dõi. Chiều nay group này đã đóng. Ngoài Nino Huỳnh, bị bắt còn có Nguyễn Đăng Thương, cũng là admin của group!
[16/6] Nino Huỳnh bị khởi tố tội “Lợi dụng các quyền tự do dân chủ xâm phạm lợi ích của Nhà nước, quyền, lợi ích hợp pháp của tổ chức, cá nhân” theo điều 331 BLHS.