NGUYEN Ngoc Nhu Quynh, a human rights defender known as Blogger Mother Mushroom, was arrested on October 10, 2016 in Nha Trang City, Vietnam, under the charge of “spreading propaganda against the State”. Subsequently the police searched her home and confiscated her computer, I-pad, mobile phone, hard disks, USB sticks, photo camera, film camera, sound recorder and several documents. According to the authority she is being held in the Detention Camp of the Public Security of Khánh Hòa Province. She is held incommunicado, i.e. has no access to a lawyer and family visits. A Catholic she is not allowed to receive a Bible. If convicted, she can face up to twelve years imprisonment.
Eyewitnesses reported that the blogger was arrested at the Sông Lô prison in Nha Trang City on October 10, 2016, while accompanying the mother of a political prisoner. The latter has not been allowed to visit her son since his arrest in August 2015 and even after his sentencing in August 2016, and has not been allowed to send him any food while prisoners do not receive adequate food in prison. State media reported that Mrs. Nhu Quynh had used Livestream to broadcast the interview with the mother in front of the prison on her Facebook. She was then escorted home by public security for house search.
Report “Stop Police Killing Civilians”
Mrs. Nhu Quynh, born in 1979, is a founding member of the Vietnamese Blogger Network. She belongs to a politicly mature post-war generation who, despite state censorship and reprisals, raises its voice against human rights violations, environmental pollution, government misconduct and social injustice via blogs and social media on the Internet. Seventeen times between 2009 and 2016, the mother of two children was arrested, interrogated or even beaten up. She is considered a fearless and respectable human rights defender whose work was honored by many international human rights organizations. After her arrest, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, urged her immediate release.
VETO! urges the Vietnamese government to:
Immediately and unconditionally release the human rights defender and blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh;
Stop the incommunicado detention against Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh;
Remove Art. 88 Vietnam’s Penal Code on „spreading propaganda against the Socialist State Vietnam“;
Comply with obligations under Art. 19 on the right to freedom of expression of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of which Vietnam is a state party;
Protect human rights defenders against threats to health and life.