(New York) – All charges against the blogger Pham Viet Dao, 62, should be dropped, and he should be released immediately and unconditionally, Human Rights Watch said today.
Pham Viet Dao, 62, was arrested on June 13, 2013, in Hanoi, for allegedly violating Vietnam penal code article 258, which provides for up to seven years in prison for “abusing democratic freedoms.” He is scheduled to be tried in the People’s Court of Hanoi municipality on March 19, 2014. His trial will be the third of Internet activists arrested in mid-2013.
“The Vietnamese authorities are shaming themselves before domestic and international public opinion by staging yet another political trial of a peaceful critic,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “Pham Viet Dao’s only crime has been to use the Internet to voice opinions shared by many Vietnamese, outside and inside government.”