Friday, March 17, police in Vietnam arrested a Facebook user who was accused of “attempting to destroy the state” by uploading content that defamed leaders of the ruling Communist Party, according to the country’s security ministry.
The police-run Ministry of Public Security stated in a statement that Phan Thi Thanh Nha, 39, was accused of uploading and sharing 25 articles and videos since 2018 with the intent to “distort and discredit officials of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the state.”
Despite extensive economic transformation and a growing tolerance for social change, Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party maintains strict media censorship and tolerates minimal criticism, with scores of people imprisoned for criticizing the government.
Reuters was unable to identify and contact Nha’s attorney immediately for comment.
Nha was also suspected of joining and recruiting for the US-based “Provisional National Government of Vietnam,” a group recognized as a “terrorist organization” by Vietnam, but not by the United States.
Reuters was unable to reach the organization, which had vowed allegiance to the now-defunct state of South Vietnam. Many individuals have been arrested in Vietnam on suspicion of recruiting for the California-based organization.