Vietnam Detains Young Activist Over Critical Facebook Comments

2017-07-05
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Detained activist Tran Hoang Phuc's Facebook page, with his reaction to being blocked by police from meeting U.S. President Barack Obama in 2016.
Detained activist Tran Hoang Phuc's Facebook page, with his reaction to being blocked by police from meeting U.S. President Barack Obama in 2016.
Tran Hoang Phuc

Vietnam has arrested a young activist for posting material critical of the government on social media, his mother told RFA's Vietnamese on Wednesday.

Ho Chi Minh City native Tran Hoang Phuc, 23, was detained on July 3 on the accusation of "possessing materials, producing and posting videos on internet critical of the government" under article 88 of Vietnam's penal code, she said.

"I went to talk with Hanoi police on July 3 and was told that Phuc has been detained," Huynh Thi Ut, Phuc’s mother, told RFA.

The detention order issued by Hanoi police on July 3 says that Phuc is in the custody of Hanoi police.

Rights groups and Western governments say Vietnamese authorities frequently use Article 88 and the charge of "propaganda against the state" to arrest and imprison those who support democracy and human rights and denounce abuses.

Phuc was selected to take part in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), a U.S. government leadership development and networking program in Southeast Asia. He was invited to meet with then U.S. President Barack Obama last year when Obama visited Vietnam, but police blocked Phuc from going to the meeting.

"I have worked with Phuc on some education and business strategy consultancy projects," former political prisoner Le Thang Long told RFA.

"Phuc is a serious young person who is truly patriotic. He always obeys the laws so I am very surprised to hear from his mother that he has been detained," he added.

Phuc's detention follows the sentencing on June 29 of activist and blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, known as Mother Mushroom, to 10 years in prison under Article 88 for her Facebook posts and interviews with U.S. news agencies.

Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by Viet Ha. Written in English by Paul Eckert.

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Hate Communists

from ghet bac Ho

Woes are the layers of misfortunes and missed opportunities throughout VNmese history. These are the results of a country that can’t protect itself, its citizens, or its borders. VN wasn’t exactly a powerhouse or have ‘deep pockets’ to carry out its diplomacies properly. The various royal dynasties didn’t accomplish economics, social justices, or military growth – or VNCH era.
Per writers below; I honestly don’t think the VNmese commits genocide vs the indigenous citizens. Yes, there were horrible mistakes/crimes made while trying to ‘assimilate’ an established and proud culture. That should be learned, honored, so not to be repeated again.
I wish not to ‘air dirty laundry’ and I couldn’t cover all the details and mishaps; however, in most simplicity and with much imagination; the inflicted wounds and anguishes that we have today are the results of the named above.
Then together, our two civilizations (VNmese and Montagnards) got caught up in the ‘Western Imperialism’ (the French) and ‘Communism Expansion’ (the West vs China and USSR) whirlwind. These were chaotic times and worse because we weren’t in control. That is the key word here – can’t control our destiny!
Sadly, that’s how the dominoes fell and affected. It isn’t much to take comfort in but it had played out. Generations of VNmese are still bitter for we can’t defend or rule ourselves and; thus; it spilled into the Montagnard’s land. We couldn’t control the outcomes, thus injustices and atrocities ran rampant.
Would things have been differently if VN have peace and prosperity during last century? I believe it would.
Today, we can count on the communists to compound the woes!

Jul 11, 2017 11:54 AM

Anonymous Reader

We have different issues over here; your struggle is struggle for level of existence. Your war between South Vietnam and North Vietnam is civil war.
Here, we are talking about death and disappearance. GENOCIDE. The heinous crime against humanity Vietnam communist regime has committed

Jul 10, 2017 04:02 PM

Anonymous Reader

To the Montagnard Dega Genocide has no limitation, genocide is till genocide. It has been experience of humanity even in democracy society. Especially in Central Highlands of Vietnam, as you can see supremacism in the Vietnamese person and war allows Genocide to take in first place. The president Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam who was the first perpetrator by annexation Dega country and brought wanton of the destruction physically, culturally, and economically , today, Ho Chi Minh and his communist party continuing to complete the final stage Genocide on Dega people.

Jul 09, 2017 11:20 AM

Hate Communists

from ghet bac Ho

The concerning person below is painting a 'broad stroke' about VNmese people are lacking of empathy and love for mankind. I've stated what my father had done while under VNCH era. I believe it was the 1st article about the expelled Montagnards.
It's true that most VNmese aren't aware of the Montagnards existence; however; it doesn't mean that we don't care. Remember, we have and are fighting for the same issues.
A long while back, I was on a plane with wailings children. Their cries were horrific and everyone was getting annoyed by it. On the way to the bathroom, I saw the crying children. I immediately knew who they were. Although, we didn't speak the same language, I managed to hold their frail mother hand and all I can say was that I Am VN! We understood that as the tears rolled down from our eyes. Also, I managed to calm the children with bubble gums. They were small and afraid. From their stubs, they were heading to Minnesota. I just hate the war even more as it broke our cultures and took our people far from the land that we love so dearly.
No, you can't compare VNmese Communists vs VNmese people. We are far better than a bunch of cut throats and murderers. If you read 1968 Tet Offense, you'll know what they did to us; especially in Hue.
You are not alone in this fight. God bless our people.

Jul 06, 2017 11:15 AM

Anonymous Reader

The problematic over here is, even almost 90 millions population know pretty well who communist were,mostly Vietnamese still like and proud of because they consider that communism brought their peoples and country unity.
The proof is that Genocide did occurred at another part some country in this world there were some sympathetic stand for to criticize for this monstrous crime on their brotherhood. However, Genocide occurs on Montagnard Dega in Central Highlands of Vietnam there is ZERO Vietnamese sympathetic with Montagnard Dega people.

Jul 05, 2017 06:17 PM

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