3 Vietnam Government critics arrested


The Vietnamese authorities arrested three prominent critics just days after Vietnam announced its candidacy for another term on the United Nations Human Rights Council, Human Rights. The police arrested Nguyen Chi Tuyen and Nguyen Vu Binh on February 29, 2024, and Hoang Viet Khanh on March 1, and charged them with conducting propaganda against the state.

3 Vietnam Government critics arrested

The Vietnamese government should end its crackdown against bloggers, rights campaigners, and activists, and immediately release those held for exercising their basic civil and political rights. In 2022, the UN General Assembly elected Vietnam to a three-year term on the Human Rights Council in Geneva, which ends in 2025. It announced on February 26 that it will seek a new term when its term ends.

“The Vietnamese government likes to boast about its respect for human rights when seeking a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, but its brutal crushing of dissent sends the opposite message,”

Vietnam currently holds at least 163 political prisoners, Human Rights Watch said. During the first two months of 2024 alone, three activists – Danh Minh Quang, Nay Y Blang, and Phan Van Loc – were convicted and sentenced to between three years and six months, and seven years in prison. At least 24 other persons are in police custody on politically motivated charges awaiting trials.

The police arrested Nguyen Chi Tuyen (also known as Anh Chi), 49, on February 29 in Hanoi. He is a rights campaigner who uses social media, including YouTube and Facebook, to comment on social and political issues. His primary YouTube channel, Anh Chi Rau Den, has produced over 1,600 videos and is followed by 98,000 subscribers. His second YouTube channel, AC Media, has produced more than 1,000 videos and has almost 60,000 subscribers.


In December 2003, a court sentenced Nguyen Vu Binh to seven years in prison, followed by three years of house arrest, for espionage under article 80 of Vietnam’s Criminal Law. In June 2007, the authorities pardoned and released him two years and three months early. He immediately resumed his advocacy for freedom, democracy, and human rights. He frequently commented on various social and political issues of Vietnam.

The police accused him of using his Facebook page to “post, share and disseminate [information with] contents that bend the truth, distort and twist the actual situation, attack the guidelines and policies of the party and the state, distort history, defame and insult President Ho Chi Minh, [and] smear high-ranking leaders of the party and the state.”

“These three activists are not guilty of anything except exercising their basic rights to freedom of speech,” Robertson said. “Unfortunately, the Vietnamese government treats all online expression of peaceful political views as a dire threat to the ruling party and government, and crushes such dissent with politically motivated arrests, trials, and prison sentences.”

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