Vietnam: Blogger given conditional release

Updated On: Sep 16, 2009

Vietnamese police have released a blogger more than a week after detaining her for questioning about postings critical of foreign policy towards China.

Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh was freed Saturday after police determined her acts "were not serious enough for prosecution," mother Nguyen Thi Tuyet Lan said.

The release of Ms Quynh, 30, who writes under the pen name Me Nam, came a week after police freed another blogger, Bui Thanh Hieu, and online journalist Pham Doan Trang.

All had denounced the government's support for a controversial bauxite mine being built in the Central Highlands by a Chinese company.

They also criticised the government's handling of territorial disputes with China, Vietnam's powerful northern neighbor, over the Spratly and Paracel archipelagos in the South China Sea.

Ms Quynh was detained September 2 for allegedly "abusing the democratic freedoms to infringe on the interests of the state."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Nguyen Phuong Nga in a regular press briefing on Thursday said the two bloggers and the reporter had been detained for alleged violations of national security.

Quynh said Monday that she agreed to stop blogging as a condition of her release. She added that she knew her decision would disappoint her friends, but said she had promised to stop in order to win her freedom.

"I made my promise and I will keep my promise," she wrote.

She further added that she had come to the "bitter" realization that her ability to express her patriotism was constrained by political realities.

Earlier this year, the government tightened its rules for bloggers, requiring that they restrict their writings to personal matters.

The latest arrests might also be part of the ongoing crackdown on political dissidents that saw dozens interrogated and detained in the last couple of months. Among them are human rights lawyer Le Cong Dinh, businessman Tran Huynh Duy Thuc and democracy activist Nguyen Tien Trung.


Vietnam releases detained blogger, 14 September 2009,


Freed Vietnamese blogger agrees to stop writing, 14 September 2009,


Viet blogger release, 13 September 2009,


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