Urgent Action: Vietnamese Human Rights Blogger Arrested
Human rights defender Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh, known as blogger Mẹ Nấm (Mother Mushroom) was arrested on 10 October and has been charged with “conducting propaganda” against the state under Article 88 of Viet Nam’s Penal Code. She is at risk of torture and ill-treatment. It is not known where she is currently detained.
Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh was arrested at 10 am on 10 October in her home town of Nha Trang in Khánh Hòa province,South Central Coast of Viet Nam. She was accompanying the mother of an activist trying to visit him in a local prison when she was arrested and driven away by security police. They took her home at around 11.30 am and conducted a search, confiscating her computer and electronic equipment and demonstration placards.
Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh has been charged with “conducting propaganda” against the state under Article 88 of Viet Nam’s Penal Code. If tried and convicted she may face imprisonment of between three and 20 years. It is not known where she is currently detained. In Viet Nam, those arrested for alleged national security offences can be held incommunicado for up to two years before being brought to trial.
State media reported that Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh is being prosecuted for using Facebook to write, post and share articles and videos critical of the ruling Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV) and the State since 2012. The report cited a document she had shared on Facebook listing 31 people who had died after questioning in police custody as “causing detriment to national security and social safety and order.”
Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh co-founded the independent Vietnamese Bloggers Network in December 2013. She is a single mother with two children, who has faced harassment, arrest and interrogation for her peaceful activities on numerous occasions, and has been prevented from travelling overseas. She has advocated for human rights and against injustice for more than 10 years and is a popular and well-known blogger.
Please write immediately in Vietnamese, English or your own language:
- Demanding that the authorities release Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh immediately and unconditionally as she is a prisoner of conscience held solely for her peaceful activities defending and promoting human rights;
- Calling on the authorities to immediately reveal the whereabouts of Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh and ensure that she has access to a lawyer, her family and adequate medical care;
- Calling on the authorities to ensure that until she is released, Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh is treated in accordance with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of prisoners, and is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment.