Vietnam arrests third blogger in less than a month

Vietnam arrests third blogger in less than a month in intensifying crackdown on dissent

Associated Press

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) -- Vietnamese police have arrested a blogger accused of posting "erroneous and slanderous" information about the communist government, state media reported Monday. The blogger is the third locked up in less than a month in an intensifying crackdown against dissent.

Dinh Nhat Uy was taken into police custody in southern Long An province on Saturday, the state-run Thanh Nien newspaper reported. He is accused of "abusing democratic freedoms," an offense punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Uy was found to have authored and posted on his blog "erroneous and slanderous" articles and photos of the government, the newspaper said.

The 30-year-old is the brother of Dinh Nguyen Kha, a student who was sentenced last month to eight years in jail for spreading propaganda against the state.

Two well-known bloggers have been arrested over the past three weeks on the same charges.

So far this year, 46 bloggers or democracy activists have been convicted and imprisoned, more than the number of people locked up for violating national security laws in the whole of 2012.

Critics accuse the government of using the security laws to silence dissent. Hanoi has said no one has been convicted of peacefully expressing their views, and only lawbreakers are put behind bars.

Foreign governments, led by the United States, and international rights groups have criticized the crackdown and called for the activists' release.

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