22 March, 2016
A well-known Vietnamese blogger will go on trial this week for posting stories that the government says cause people to lose faith in the government.
Nguyen Huu Vinh and his assistant, Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy, have been in jail since 2014. Their lawyer says the trial will begin on Wednesday.
Fifty-nine year-old Vinh is a former police officer and son of a late government minister. He started his Ba Sam blog in 2007 and later began two other blogs on citizen rights and Vietnamese history. The blogs provide links to news stories about politics, social, economic and cultural issues.
The Associated Press said the blogs use stories from both state media and political activists.
Vietnamese State Media reported the two bloggers are charged with posting more than twenty stories with "untruthful and groundless content."
The government says the stories "present a one-sided and pessimistic view, causing anxiety and worry, and affecting the people's confidence" in Vietnam's Communist Party and government.
Vinh is known in Vietnam as Anh Ba Sam. He was a police officer in the Ministry of Public Security in Hanoi.
He quit in 1999 to set up a private investigation company. His father was a government minister who served as Vietnam's ambassador to the former Soviet Union.
Ha Huy Son is Vinh's lawyer. He said Vinh and Thuy deny the charges against them. The two have said they "have no relations" to the postings on their blogs, the lawyer told the Associated Press.
Amnesty International criticized Vietnam Tuesday for continuing to keep the two bloggers in prison and putting them on trial. It called for their immediate release.
Amnesty International said the government is trying to remove "legitimate criticism" and making people afraid to ask questions of their leaders.
Amnesty International said it has health concerns about Vinh. The human rights group said Vinh has had a skin condition for the past six months and was not given needed treatment.
I'm Mario Ritter.
Bruce Alpert reported on this story for VOA Learning English based on reporting by the Associated Press and other information. Mario Ritter was the editor.
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Words in This Story
blogger – n. a person who post stories, opinions, on the internet
faith – n. strong belief or trust in someone or something
content – n. articles, photos and other material
pessimistic – adj. having or showing a lack of hope for the future
anxiety – n. worries and concerns
confidence – n. a feeling or belief that someone or something is good or has the ability to succeed at something