The mother of a blogger detained in Vietnam made a tearful plea Monday for her daughter’s release after two other online writers were freed.
“Help us to get her free!” Nguyen Thi Tuyet Lan told AFP in a tearful telephone conversation from the southern coastal city of Nha Trang, where her daughter Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, 30, has been held since Wednesday.
Quynh blogged under the name “Me Nam”.
“My daughter is still detained until now. I tried to visit her this morning but the police prevented me,” she said.
Quynh had written about the sensitive topic of Vietnam-China relations, her mother said.
She had blogged about a controversial bauxite mining project in the Central Highlands and also about two South China Sea archipelagos, the Paracels and Spratleys, her mother said.
The bauxite project triggered a rare public outcry, partly over security concerns because a Chinese company has been granted a major contract there.
Vietnam and China, both ideologically communist, are engaged in a boundary dispute over the Paracels and Spratleys.
Quynh’s mother said that on July 20 her daughter also wore a tee shirt calling for the cancellation of the bauxite project and announcing Vietnamese sovereignty over the archipelagos.
She was accused of abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the state, a crime which can lead to a prison term, her mother said.
A foreign diplomat, who asked not to be named, said Quynh had gone “a step further” than blogging by attempting to produce more of the tee shirts with two other online writers arrested in late August.
One of them, Bui Thanh Hieu, 37, told AFP he was released on Saturday. Hieu blogs under the name Nguoi Buon Gio (Wind Trader), and had written about the maritime dispute as well as the mining project.
The third person recently arrested, Pham Doan Trang, a journalist for prominent news website VietnamNet, has also been released, a diplomatic source said.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) had called for the immediate release of Hieu and Trang.