Vietnam writer Nguyen Quang Lap ‘arrested over blog’

BBC News Asia

Vietnam writer Nguyen Quang Lap ‘arrested over blog’

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Nguyen Quang Lap
Nguyen Quang Lap is seen as a mainstream figure in Vietnamese literature

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An award-winning Vietnamese writer has been arrested, reportedly for publishing criticism of the Communist government on his blog.

Nguyen Quang Lap was taken into custody after police searched his home in the city of Ho Chi Minh on Saturday.

His wife and his brother said police had accused him of publishing articles that went against the authorities.

Mr Lap is the second prominent blogger to have been detained recently, in an apparently renewed attack on dissent.

Last week, police in Ho Chi Minh took blogger Hong Le Tho, 65, into custody on charges of anti-state activity.

Unlike many bloggers detained in the past, Mr Lap is part of the mainstream of Vietnamese literature, regularly appearing on state media and winning state-backed prizes.

Motorists at an intersection in Hanoi
The Communist party maintains close control over Vietnam’s media

His blog serves as a platform where he and his friends express sometimes critical views about Vietnam.

The one-party state is often criticized by rights groups for its intolerance of dissent.

Protests are rare in Vietnam and the mainstream media are state-run and heavily regulated.

However, the internet has emerged as a forum for criticizing the authorities.

The press freedom group, Reporters without Borders, says Vietnam has 34 bloggers in prison.

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