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Arrested blogger held incommunicado

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders is shocked that pro-democracy blogger Nguyen Tien Trung has been held incommunicado for the past three weeks and fears that he is being subjected to considerable physical and psychological pressure in an attempt to get him to confess to "crimes".

"The authorities must allow Trung to receive a visit from a lawyer or his relatives at once," Reporters Without Borders said. "These police-state methods are disgraceful and reinforce the impression that the authorities are ready to go to any lengths to crack down on dissidents. The international community must remind Vietnam of its obligation to respect human rights."

Arrested at his family's home in Ho Chi Minh City on 7 July 2009 for violating article 88 of the criminal code, Trung will begin his fourth week in detention tomorrow. "No one has seen him since his arrest," his brother told Reporters Without Borders. "We are afraid that the police are using all possible means to extract a confession from him, as they did with the lawyer Le Cong Dinh."

A demonstration will be held at the Human Rights Esplanade in the Paris district of Trocadero on 2 August to demand Trung's release.

Trung, who is a graduate of the INSA school of engineering in Rennes, France, created the Association of Young Vietnamese for Democracy in 2007. He seems to have been arrested because of what he posted online, above all a letter to the government about education policies, and because of his involvement in the Vietnam Democracy Party.

As a pro-democracy activist, he met Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, former US President George W. Bush and several American congressmen.

The European Union called publicly for his release on 14 July.
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