Monday, April 23, 2007

Writer Tran Khai Thanh Thuy arrested

Novelist and journalist Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, age 47, (pen names Nguyen Thai Hoang and Nguyen Thi Hien)was arrested on Saturday (April 21) according to Reporters Without Borders. Authorities say police caught her in the act of disseminating "subversive" documents online and confiscated a portable USB drive containing articles she had written. She is accused of violating Article 88 of Vietnam's Criminal Code, prohibiting the dissemination of anti-government propaganda. She is also accused in Vietnam's official media of belonging to the dissident 8406 bloc, organizing an independent trade union and supporting a dissident human rights commission. Thuy is a recipient of Human Rights Watch's Hellman/Hammett award, granted to dissident writers for showing "courage in the face of political persecution."

PEN reported on Nov. 22, 2006 that Thuy "was briefly detained on 2 September 2006 for her Internet writings, followed by three weeks of daily interrogation sessions. She was again briefly detained on 11 October and interrogated about the essays 'The Grotto', 'Self-Narration' and 'Dialogue' written after her detention in September. She was also reportedly brought to an open 'People's Court', in which members of the public are forced to participate in the abuse and humiliation of those accused. She is now believed to have been placed under effective house arrest and has been banned from publishing her writings on-line."

Sources: Reporters Without Borders April 23; Associated Press April 23. See also PEN, Nov. 22, 2006.


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