Statement by RFA and PEN International on Nguyen Vu Binh’s arrest in Vietnam
Photo: RFA

Statement by RFA and PEN International on Nguyen Vu Binh’s arrest in Vietnam


Radio Free Asia (RFA) and PEN International issued the statement below following the official announcement in Vietnam that blogger Nguyen Vu Binh was arrested under Article 117 of the Vietnamese penal code. Binh, who was taken into custody by police in Hanoi on Feb. 29, has been a contributing blogger to RFA’s Vietnamese Service and was an honorary member of several PEN Centers. The statement by RFA President and CEO Bay Fang and PEN International President Burhan Sonmez is as follows: 

RFA and PEN International strongly condemn the recent detention of Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Vu Binh. His arrest under Vietnam’s Article 117 is yet another example of Vietnam’s unjust targeting and brazen intimidation of independent journalists.

This is not the first time Binh has faced such harsh treatment for his reporting. In 2002, after providing written testimony to the U.S. Congress about human rights abuses in Vietnam, he was arrested and sentenced to seven years in prison, before being released in 2007 0n presidential amnesty. In 2015 he was one of 12 bloggers and human rights activists stopped and beaten by plainclothes police in Hanoi.

As a two-time recipient of the prestigious Hellmann-Hammett writers’ award—a recognition that honors writers under political persecution—Nguyen Vu Binh’s work as a blogger is critical. His case warrants swift attention and we call upon the international community to join us in condemning his arrest. 

RFA and PEN International firmly uphold the guaranteed freedoms of expression as enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  We demand Nguyen Vu Binh’s charges be dropped and call for his immediate release.