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Dissident writer arrested and detained



(CPJ/IFEX) - CPJ is greatly alarmed by the arrest and detention of
dissident
writer Nguyen Thanh Giang, reportedly for possessing documents critical
of
the Communist Party.




Giang, a prominent geologist whose articles on corruption within the
Communist Party have frequently been published on the Internet and in
newspapers published by Vietnamese living in exile, was arrested by
police
on 4 March 1999 in Hanoi, according to news reports. Communist Party
sources
were quoted by the news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur saying that Giang
was
likely to be sentenced to prison following his arrest. He has not been
seen
since his arrest, and no formal charges against him have been made
public.

Vietnamese authorities have frequently harassed Giang for his writing on
political issues. His arrest follows a series of statements from
Community
Party officials regarding alleged threats posed by dissidents. Senior
Communist Party security officials have warned in recent days that
"hostile
forces" - both inside and outside the country - have stepped up efforts
to
sabotage Communist Party rule in Vietnam.

CPJ has also noted a deterioration in press freedom conditions in
Vietnam in
the past year as the Communist Party has tightened its control over the
media. Despite official constitutional guarantees of free speech and the
press, the reality in Vietnam is that almost all aspects of the media
are
under heavy state and party control. It is particularly alarming that
Giang,
a scientist with an international reputation whose thoughtful political
essays have been banned in his homeland and widely praised outside of
Vietnam, now faces prison for exercising his right of free expression.

Recommended Action


Send appeals to the President:
  • strongly urging that Giang be released from detention immediately
    and that
    any charges against him be made public
    reminding him that as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil
    and
    Political Rights, Vietnam has an obligation, under Article 19 of that
    document, to respect the right of free expression and a free press
  • asking that he use his good offices to see that all charges against
    him
    are dropped, if Giang has been arrested as a result of his writing or
    for
    disseminating information critical of the Communist Party




    Appeals To



    President Tran Duc Luong
    Socialist Republic of Vietnam
    c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Hanoi,Vietnam
    Fax: +84 4 823 1872







    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.



  • Latest Tweet:

    Condamnés à deux mois et demi de prison, les deux journalistes #français seront bientôt libérés http://t.co/Ip54MHFUkS | @rsf_rwb #Indonésie