January 4, 2013
According to the Wall Street Journal, Vietnamese police arrested well-known dissident blogger Le Quoc Quan on December 28 while he was dropping off his daughter at school. Mr. Quan, who was in residence at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) on a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowship in 2006-07, has written extensively on human rights abuses in Vietnam, and has been detained by the authorities multiple times because of his pro-democracy views.
Radio Free Asia reports that Mr. Quan was jailed for three months in 2007 and was freed only after protests from the United States. In August 2012, he was beaten by police in an attack, and had “begun carrying a golf-club for self-defense.”
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Quan’s wife, Nguyen Thi Thu Hien, said that her husband has been detained on tax evasion charges. “I think my husband was arrested because of his political views as he often calls for democracy and a multiparty political system,” she told the Journal.
As reported by Radio Free Asia, Mr. Quan’s brother and his cousin have also been arrested in the last few months and continue to be detained by Vietnamese authorities.
The World Movement for Democracy calls for Le Quoc Quan’s immediate release, and demands the Vietnamese government cease its surveillance and harassment of Mr. Quan and his family. We also strongly urge the Vietnamese government to respects its citizens’ right to engage in the free exchange of ideas and opinions online.
For more information, go to:
Radio Free Asia, “Vietnamese Blogger Detained.”
Democracy Digest, “Hey John Kerry, free Le Quoc Quan.”
Source: World Movement for Democracy