Two Vietnamese bloggers have been jailed in recent days for publishing articles critical of the country's Communist government.
Nguyen Quang Lap, a blogger who covered social and political issues and was critical of Vietnam's relations with China, was arrested Dec. 6 after more than a dozen members of the security services searched his residence in Ho Chi Minh City, Agence France-Press said, citing Lap's wife. The French news agency quoted her as saying she was told he was arrested because "his blog ran articles against the [communist] party's policies and guidelines."
The arrest follows that of fellow blogger Hong Le Tho, also known as Nguoi Lot Gach, Nov. 29, news outlets including The Guardian said.
Tho was arrested under Article 258 of the Penal Code for ““online articles with bad content and false information that discredit and create distrust among people about state agencies, social agencies and citizens,” according to a statement on the Vietnamese Public Security Ministry’s website. Ministry officials arrested Le Tho after receiving a confidential tip.
Tho blogged about social and political issues in the country and criticized Vietnam’s political relations with China, according to Radio Free Asia. His website, the only widely-read blog in the country that publishes in English and French, has been inaccessible since his arrest.
The law under which Tho was arrested has often been used to harass and persecute bloggers and activists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. His arrest comes a month after another Vietnamese blogger, Nguyen Van Fai, was released from prison and put on a flight to the United States after an appeal from President Obama.