HANOI, Vietnam – In 2006 three men were arrested by the Ho Chi Minh police in Vietnam for demonstrating against the Communist government and calling for civil liberties and democracy in Vietnam. The three men are members of what has been named the Bloc 8406 group. This group is named after the day April 18, 2006, when its founding members were arrested for posting pro-democracy writings on-line. The group has been outlawed by the Vietnam government.
The three men, Pham Ba Hai, Nguyen Ngoc Quang and Vu Hoang Hai, have received terms of 2-5 years of jail time by the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court. The Vietnam News Agency and other state-controlled media outlets have reported that the three men were charged with posting documents online that, “distorted history, attacked administrations and tarnished the party and state officials, and incited people to protest.”
More recently, Vietnamese blogger, Nguyen Van Hai, was arrested under charges of “tax evasion.” Hai is a pro-democracy activist who has reported on the protests against the Olympic torch relay. Hai is part of a larger network of bloggers called the Union of Independent Journalists. Other members of this group have been calling protests during the upcoming torch relay and have helped to organize demonstrations against China’s claim of sovereignty over the Paracel Islands.
For more information, please see:
Macau Daily Times – Vietnam Jails Three Pro-Democracy Activists – 27 April 2008
Bangkok Post – Vietnam Arrest Blogger for Reporting Torch Protests – 27 April 2008