Vietnam: Free Blogger “Mother Mushroom”

Vietnam should now lose Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (also called “Mother Mushroom”) and drop all fees in opposition to her, Human Rights Watch stated today. Police arrested her in October 2016 and pressed a rate of “engaging in propaganda towards the nation”, according to Article 88 of the penal code. The People’s Court of Khanh Hoa Province plans to pay attention to her case on June 29, 2017.

“It’s outrageous to put Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh on trial actually for using her proper to unfastened expression to name for government reform and duty,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, who’s 38, blogs under the pen name Mother Mushroom (Me Nam). The pen call got here from her 11-12 months-antique daughter, whom she calls “Mushroom.” “The scandal here is not what Mother Mushroom said, but Hanoi’s stubborn refusal to repeal draconian, rights-abusing laws that punish nonviolent dissent and tarnish Vietnam’s worldwide reputation.”

With the motto, “Who will communicate if you don’t?” Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh wrote on social and political problems such as land confiscation, police brutality, and freedom of expression. She voiced guidance for fellow dissidents and publicly campaigned to discharge many political prisoners together with Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, Nguyen Ngoc Gia, Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung, and Nguyen Huu Vinh (also known as Anh Ba Sam). Above all, she recommended a social and political environment lose from fear. Before she became arrested, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh went with Nguyen Thi Nay, the mom of political prisoner Nguyen Huu Quoc Duy, to try and go to him in prison.


In September 2009, the police took Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh from her domestic in the nighttime. They questioned her about her weblog posts criticizing government rules on China and its disputed claims to the Spratly and Paracel Islands. She changed into launched after nine days but remained underneath intrusive surveillance by police, who endured to stress her to shut down her blog. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh participated in numerous public protests that endorsed human rights and purifier surroundings. She became difficult to consistent police harassment, intimidation, and interrogation and was placed under residence arrest several times to prevent her from attending essential events.

Police detained her twice in 2014 to save her from flying to Hanoi to wait for conferences at the Australian Embassy in July and on the Canadian and Norwegian Embassies in November. In March 2015, police detained her again to save her from going to Hanoi to wait for an assembly at the German Embassy. In July 2015, she reported being assaulted by men in civilian garments in front of law enforcement officials for participating in a sit-down protest to campaign for releasing political prisoners.

State media stated that the police alleged that the proof opposing Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh for anti-country blogging included a report named “Stop police killing civilians.” The record covered information on 31 instances concerning individuals who died in police custody, which she and others had collected from Kingdom media. The police claimed the description “bears an adverse standpoint towards the people’s police force. The document makes the readers misunderstand the character of the trouble, offends and lowers the prestige of the police pressure, and harms the relationship between the humans and the police pressure.”

Many cases summarized in “Stop police killing civilians” have been documented and published by way of Human Rights Watch, inclusive of the violent deaths in police custody of Nguyen Quoc Bao, Nguyen Van Khuong, Trinh Xuan Tung, Tu Ngoc Thach, and Y Ket Bap. According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, suggested by using country media, from October 2011 to September 2014, there were 226 death cases in detention centers.

The police claimed that they located many files providing evidence of crimes in the hunt for Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh’s house. Among these documents have been slogans such as “Fish Need Water,” “The Country Needs Transparency” (Ca can not such; Nuoc can my beach), “Take Legal Action Against Formosa” (Khoi to Formosa), “No Formosa,” “Formosa Get Out,” and anti-China claims over the disputed Spratly and Paracel Islands such as “No to Chinese Expansionism.”

The police report stated that further to her Facebook and blog posts, different “crimes” she devoted covered giving interviews to CNN and Radio Free Asia. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh obtained a Hellman-Hammett furnish from Human Rights Watch 2010 as a creator protecting unfastened expression. 2015 Civil Rights Defenders gave her the 2015 Civil Rights Defender of the Year award. In March 2017, she obtained the International Women of Courage Award from the State Department.

“For the final ten years, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh has worked tirelessly to improve human rights and sell freedom and democracy in Vietnam,” said Phil Robertson. “International donors and trade companions should publicly condemn her arrest and urge the Vietnamese government to launch her immediately and unconditionally.” In addition to blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, Human Rights Watch urges Vietnam to unconditionally release all detained or imprisoned for their peaceful sports and speeches.

Among folks held and pending investigation encompasses prominent rights defenders Nguyen Van Dai and Tran Thi Nga. Since his detention in December 2015, it is suggested that in early May 2017, Nguyen Van Dai has not been allowed entry to prison. According to defense attorney Ha Huy Son, Tran Thi Nga (detained considering January 2017) has been sick for the last three weeks and can handiest devour porridge. She asked the government to try to find clinical treatment at the health facility twice, but her requests were denied. Both Nguyen Van Dai and Tran Thi Nga have been charged under Article 88 of the penal code.


Jeremy D. Mena
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