Vietnam Detains Journalist for Facebook Posts Against the State

(Bloomberg) -- Vietnam police arrested independent journalist Truong Huy San for posting articles on Facebook “that infringe on the interests” of the government, according to a post on the Ministry of Public Security’s website.

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Police also detained lawyer Tran Dinh Trien and charged the two with “abusing democratic freedoms,” according to the statement.

San — also known as Huy Duc — was detained a few days after publishing stories about the government’s recent political turmoil, according to an article posted on the website of Reporters Without Borders.

San worked for leading Vietnamese newspapers and focused on abuses of power by officials as well as politics, Reporters Without Borders said. San in 2012 published the book “The Winning Side” about Vietnam’s recent political history. Vietnam ranks 174th out of 180 countries and territories in the 2024 RSF World Press Freedom Index, which ranks the level of freedom available to journalists.

Vietnam’s elite has been shaken up by an anti-graft campaign that Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong likened to a “blazing furnace.” Hundreds of senior officials and business executives have been detained. Two presidents, two deputy prime ministers and other party officials recently quit office.

San was born in August 1961, and Trien in 1959, and both are cooperating with authorities, the police said.

--With assistance from Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen.

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