HANOI (dpa) – Police in Vietnam have detained a blogger in Ho Chi Minh City, the third such arrest within a month. Nguyen Dinh Ngoc, 48, was taken into custody on Saturday, an announcement on the Ministry of Public Security website said.
It said Ngoc was being investigated for “law-violating activities”, but did not give further details.
The arrest shows “Vietnam’s relentless crackdown on freedom of expression doesn’t rest for the New Year holidays,” Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phil Robertson said.
Writer Nguyen Quang Lap was arrested on December 6 for posting articles on his blog. Lesser-known blogger Hong Le Tho was arrested on November 29.
Both were charged with “abusing freedom and democracy to infringe upon the interests of the state” under Article 258 of the Penal Code.
Sporadic crackdowns on bloggers are common in Vietnam, but some observers have linked the latest arrests to increasing rivalry in the Communist Party in the run-up to the next Party Congress in 2016.