Propaganda against the state
A well-known blogger from Vietnam, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, also known as ‘Mother Mushsroom’ was arrested in October 2016 for ‘conducting propaganda against the state’. She wrote on her blog about human rights and industrial pollution. In The Netherlands, that would be completely normal and legal, but because she lives in Vietnam, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for this ‘crime’.
100 prisoners of conscience
Luckily for her, she has recently been freed from prison. However, she can be free again on one condition: that she leaves Vietnam for the United states. Her lawyer said that this is of course good news, but it does not lift the obstacles faced by people who fight for democracy in Vietnam. Because, while she is free, many other people are still in prison, just because they spoke their mind in public or on the internet. Amnesty even states that Vietnamese prisons hold more than 100 of these ‘prisoners of conscience’.
Reunited with family
Sources with direct knowledge said that the blogger has been reunited with her family and that she has departed Vietnam for the United Stated with her two children and mother.
Restriction on freedom of speech
The monopoly on political power of the Communist Party still remains a problem in Vietnam. The Communist Party allows no challenge to its leadership. Therefore, the basic rights including freedom of speech, opinion, press, association and religion are restricted. As long as this stays the same, bloggers can not speak freely on the internet without having to fear for their own life.
What is your opinion on freedom of speech? In what way does your country differ from Vietnam as far as freedom of speech is concerned?