Target: President Truong Tan Sang
Goal: Release bloggers Nguyen Huu Vinh and Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy, who were imprisoned for spreading international news
On May 5, 2014, two peaceful Vietnamese bloggers were arrested for “abusing democratic freedoms that infringe on the interests of the state.” These bloggers are peaceful citizens who are simply trying to get the news out to other Vietnamese citizens, but instead are being arrested for their work. The idea that spreading news can be considered an abuse of democratic freedom is a preposterous notion. The bloggers should be immediately released and further harassment should cease.
Nguyen Huu Vinh is a former policeman and a communist party member, who founded the blog Ba Sam (No Nonsense) in 2007. It’s believed that Ngyugen Thi Minh Thuy was involved in the blog as well. Ba Sam focuses on the news, dealing with topics like politics, economics, culture, the environment and world events. The site also teaches Vietnamese citizens how to circumvent the nation’s firewall to access news worldwide.
Ba Sam has received thousands of hits on a daily basis, but because of its popularity, the site has received state interference in the form of service attacks and hacking. In April 2014, Huu Vinh was forced to shut the site, only bringing it back to protest the arrest of himself and Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy. Other sites that, like Ba Sam, publish the news, host discussions, or criticize the nation in any way have also been shut down, and the bloggers are often attacked, arrested, or even killed. During the first three months of 2014, six other people were convicted under the same charge Nguyen Huu Vinh and Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy are facing.
Freedom of speech and assembly is constantly under attack in Vietnam, where citizens can be punished indefinitely for supporting democracy and criticizing the communist government. A growing number of protesters and bloggers are still trying to speak out for change and they shouldn’t suffer for expressing their ideals. Sign this petition and urge the president to release these bloggers immediately.
Dear President Truong Tan Sang,
It has come to my attention that two bloggers, Nguyen Huu Vinh and Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy, have been arrested because of their involvement in the popular blogging site, Ba Sam. This site brings the news to Vietnamese citizens, news that is otherwise blocked or banned in the country. I believe it is every citizens’ right to obtain information about their world, even if the government thinks otherwise.
I am writing to demand that you release these two peaceful bloggers. I believe it is atrocious to arrest these two on the premise of abusing their democratic freedom. They have not hurt anyone and are trying to better their society with information. Support freedom of speech and assembly by freeing them.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dan Fuhry via Wikimedia