Authorities in central Vietnam’s coastal Nghe An province have arrested a dissident writer and activist for investigation of activities aimed at overthrowing the country’s one-party state, relatives and state media reported.
Le Dinh Luong, 52, was taken into custody on July 24 in Hoang Mai town by men in plain clothes believed by family members to be police, Luong’s daughter in law told RFA’s Vietnamese Service.
He is now being held on suspicion of violating Article 79 of Vietnam’s penal code, state media said this week.
Authorities are accusing Luong of membership in the U.S.-based Vietnamese opposition party Viet Tan, which Vietnam regards as a terrorist organization, and of calling for a boycott of parliamentary and people’s council elections.
Luong, a veteran of Vietnam’s 1979 border war with China, has also written on Facebook calling for compensation for fishermen affected by the April 2016 waste spill by Taiwan-owned Formosa Plastics Group’s steel plant.
The environmental disaster has led to ongoing protests and arrests in Nghe An and other coastal provinces.
Rights groups and Western governments say Vietnamese authorities frequently use Article 79, relating to “activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration,” to arrest and imprison democracy and human rights activists in the country.
Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by Emily Peyman. Written in English by Richard Finney.