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Bloggers under suspicion in Vietnam

Image:Eva Schuster http://www.sxc.hu

Image:Eva Schuster http://www.sxc.hu

Vietnamese bloggers have been summoned by the police for questioning and have been accused of holding “illegal gatherings” at the U.S. and Swedish embassies in Hanoi.

The bloggers have been and are continuing to conduct a campaign of meetings at foreign embassies to lobby against Article 258, which makes it a crime to speak or write in a way that infringes upon Vietnam’s state interests.

The bloggers state that the law is meant to restrict free speech and opposition and they want western governments to pressure Hanoi to repeal the measure.

Police say the gatherings at the embassies are illegal because they did not have permits. No one has been formally detained yet.

Blogger Nguyen Dinh Ha, a participant in the campaign, said “the questioning shows how severely human rights are violated in Vietnam”.

The bloggers stress that their campaign will keep going with more stops at foreign embassies.

The international community has been critical of Vietnam’s human rights record, including its suppression of free speech and dissent. Vietnam also has a record of clamping down on the Internet and Internet freedom.

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