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Press watchdog condemns 'mounting crackdown' in Vietnam

Three online writers in Vietnam who touched on the sensitive topic of China relations have been arrested in a "mounting crackdown" which drew strong condemnation Friday from a global press watchdog.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
 (CPJ CPJ Committee to Protect Journalists
CPJ Citizens for Public Justice (Canada)
CPJ Center for Public Justice
CPJ Critical Path Job
CPJ Common Place Journal
CPJ Controlled Pipe Joints
CPJ Cooperative Programming in Java
CPJ Cd Project
) called for the immediate release of Pham Doan Trang, a journalist for prominent news website VietnamNet, and Bui Thanh Hieu, who blogs under the name Nguoi Buon Gio (Wind Trader).

Both were arrested late last week allegedly over "national security" issues.

"Vietnam is already one of the world's worst violators of Internet freedom, and recent actions only underscore that reputation," CPJ's Asia programme director, Bob Dietz, said in a statement.

The mother of another blogger confirmed to AFP (1) (AppleTalk Filing Protocol) The file sharing protocol used in an AppleTalk network. In order for non-Apple networks to access data in an AppleShare server, their protocols must translate into the AFP language. See file sharing protocol.  on Friday that her daughter, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh Như Quỳnh (real name Lâm Quỳnh Như, born 9 September 1970)[1] is a contemporary Vietnamese singer. Biography
Nhu Quynh was born in the township of Ðông Hà in the Quang Tri prefecture of Vietnam.
, 30, was arrested by about 15 officers around midnight Wednesday at their home in the southern coastal city of Nha Trang Nha Trang (nä träng), city (1989 est. pop. 263,100), E central S Vietnam, a commercial port on the South China Sea. It has an important fishing industry. It was the site of a major U.S. .

Quynh blogged under the name "Me Nam".

Her mother, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Lan, said Quynh was accused of abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the state, a crime which can lead to a prison term.

All three had posted articles about sovereignty issues in the South China Sea, where Vietnam and China are engaged in a boundary dispute over the Spratley and Paracel archipelagos Arctic Ocean
  • Canadian Arctic Archipelago
  • Belcher Islands
  • Queen Elizabeth Islands
  • Franz Josef Land
  • Lofoten
  • New Siberian Islands
  • Novaya Zemlya
  • Severnaya Zemlya

Both Wind Trader and Quynh had also written about a bauxite bauxite (bôk`sīt, bŏk`–), mixture of hydrated aluminum oxides usually containing oxides of iron and silicon in varying quantities.  mining project which is controversial partly because a Chinese company has been granted a major contract.

"Growing commercial and diplomatic ties with China are particularly sensitive in Vietnam, given the two neighbouring countries' often antagonistic antagonistic adjective Referring to any combination of 2 or more drugs, which results in a therapeutic effect that is less than the sum of each drug's effect. Cf Additive, Synergism.  history," the CPJ said in a statement.

Quynh's mother said that on July 20 she wore a T-shirt calling for the cancellation of the bauxite project and announcing Vietnamese sovereignty over the Paracels and Spratleys.

A foreign diplomat, who asked not to be named, said Quynh had gone "a step further" than blogging by producing the T-shirts. The other blogger and journalist were also involved with the T-shirt venture, the diplomat said.

The detained de·tain  
tr.v. de·tained, de·tain·ing, de·tains
1. To keep from proceeding; delay or retard.

2. To keep in custody or temporary confinement:
 VietnamNet reporter wrote in May that China "possesses the conditions to become a regional hegemonist."

She had also shared sensitive information with bloggers and journalists about a Chinese official who called on his Vietnamese counterparts to discipline local newspapers and journalists, the CPJ said, citing the independent Free Journalists' Network of Vietnam.

Nobody at the Chinese embassy could be reached to comment on the allegation.

New York-based Human Rights Watch on Friday called for all charges to be dropped against the three online writers and said the latest arrests are "yet another effort by the Vietnamese government to silence government critics."

A second foreign diplomat said Friday that the arrests are linked to China issues but also to preparations for the Communist Party's 2011 congress.

"The tension's getting higher and higher," said the diplomat, also requesting anonymity. "They want to have everything in order" before the congress, where top leadership positions are decided.

Last week, Vietnamese newspaper reporter Huy Duc was fired after writing comments in a personal blog highlighting human rights abuses committed by Vietnam's former communist ally the Soviet Union.

US ambassador Michael Michalak recently expressed concern over Vietnam's efforts to crack down on the media and to "criminalise Verb 1. criminalise - declare illegal; outlaw; "Marijuana is criminalized in the U.S."
illegalise, illegalize, outlaw, criminalize

nix, prohibit, proscribe, disallow, forbid, interdict, veto - command against; "I forbid you to call me late at night"; "Mother
 free speech."

Vietnam late last year tightened curbs on bloggers to ban views seen as opposing the state or undermining national security. The country's traditional media are all linked to the state.
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Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:Sep 4, 2009
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