September 10, 2008
Communist authorities in Vietnam have arrested several democracy activists in the middle of the night and placed many others under house arrest. These actions come amidst the sentencing of a prominent blogger and appearances of large banners in urban areas calling for multi-party democracy and leaflets protesting the government’s territorial concessions to China.
The government is also contending with the peaceful protest by thousands of Catholics for the return of confiscated church property. The protest of Thai Ha parish is entering its third week. Even though authorities have detained some protestors and used tear gas against crowds, the prayer vigils continue.
As American Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte visits Vietnam this week, the Hanoi leadership is trying to project a business as usual appearance while its security police is sweeping up dissidents throughout the country.
Duy Hoang : +1 (202) 470-1678