Charges towards blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh ought to be dropped

PEN International calls on the Vietnamese government to drop all prices towards blogger and government critic Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, also regarded by her pen call Me Nam (‘Mother Mushroom’), ahead of her trial, that is predicted to take area on 29 June 2017. Me Nam has been held in incommunicado detention in view that her arrest in October 2016, on costs of “accomplishing propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam” below Article 88 of the Penal Code. If convicted, she could face up to 20 years in jail. PEN International believes that Me Nam is being focused for peacefully exercising her right to freedom of expression and calls for her immediate and unconditional launch.

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– Calling on the Vietnamese government to drop the expenses against blogger and human rights defender Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, and release her without delay and unconditionally;

– Ensuring that, pending her release, she is granted get right of entry to her family and a lawyer of her preference at once;
– Repeal Article 88, as well as different country wide security provisions that criminalise dissent in breach global human rights regulation, consisting of Articles seventy-nine (“activities aiming to overthrow the people’s management”) and 258 (“abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the nation, the rights and hobbies of individuals”) of the Penal Code.

– Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all different writers and activists imprisoned or detained for the peaceful exercising in their right to freedom of expression in accordance with Article 19 of the ICCPR to which Vietnam is nation celebration.

Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, aged 37, popularly known by her pen call Me Nam (Mother Mushroom), is known for her online writings in which she has shared her opinions on social, economic, political, environmental and human rights problems through social media. In 2013, she co-based the Vietnamese Bloggers Network, banned in Viet Nam. Me Nam has also organised and participated in advocacy around authorities transparency, kingdom duty, and environmental protection. Me Nam has confronted consistent harassment on the arms of the Vietnamese government as a result of her paintings due to the fact 2009; such harassment has protected detentions (see RAN 49/09), journey bags, bodily attacks, and threats. She is the recipient of the 2010 Hellman/Hammett Award, the 2015 Civil Rights Defender of the Year award and the 2017 International Woman of Courage Award, presented via the U.S. State Department.
On 10 October 2016, Me Nam become arrested while visiting an imprisoned political activist, Nguyen Huu Quoc Duy, on the Khanh Hoa province public security camp wherein she became reportedly forced right into a vehicle and pushed to her domestic. Her home was reportedly searched and electric system, including her PC and mobile smartphone, confiscated. She was later transferred to Khanh Hoa Provincial Police Detention Centre.

According to a police word stated in a submission quoted by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, Me Nam was charged with “undertaking propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam” under Article 88 of the Penal Code as from 2012 to the time of her arrest she had used social media to “regularly write, add and percentage articles and video content material that distort the road and regulations of the Party and State laws, denigrate people, and have an effect on the recognition of companies and companies.” The notice made unique reference to Me Nam being answerable for a document entitled, Stop police killing civilians – SKC, a record notion to have been observed at her home and which contained information on 31 folks who had been observed lifeless in police custody in Viet Nam. Four hundred Facebook articles are being used in proof in opposition to her. She has been held incommunicado without getting admission to a lawyer seeing that her arrest.

In a 14 October 2016 assertion, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said: “Article 88 effectively makes it a crime for any Vietnamese citizen to experience the fundamental freedom to specific an opinion, to talk about or to impeach the Government and its regulations. The overly huge, sick-described scope of this regulation makes all of it too smooth to quash any type of dissenting views and to arbitrarily detain individuals who dare to criticize Government rules.”

In March 2017, 5 UN Special Rapporteurs made a joint announcement expressing “fear for her bodily and psychological integrity, and denounce the violations of her essential proper to the due system, mainly her being detained incommunicado, the denial of her proper to felony suggest and the banning of visits from her circle of relatives.”

Me Nam’s mother became informed on 4 June 2017 that her daughter’s detention in Khanh Hoa province might be extended by way of two months and 15 days, in line with Radio Free Asia. Me Nam’s own family have reportedly been subjected to surveillance considering her arrest.

In its opinion followed in the course of its 78th session on 30 May 2017, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) observed that “article 88 of Viet Nam’s Penal Code is so indistinct and overly broad that it may bring about consequences being imposed on folks who’ve simply exercised their legitimate rights to freedom of opinion and expression.” Moreover, it concluded that Me Nam’s arrest and subsequent detention changed into supposed to limit her sports as a human rights defender, and that her detention violates her rights under articles 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Articles 19, 21 and 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), as well as her right to truthful trial under 9, 10 and 11, and 9 and 14, of the UDHR and ICCPR respectively. During the same session, the UNWGAD additionally ruled that outstanding legal professional, human rights defender, and blogger, Nguyen Van Dai, who has been detained without formal charges on the grounds that December 2015, is also being arbitrarily detained.

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