RSF calls for urgent French response to Vietnam’s arrest of blogger
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Pham Minh Hoang, a blogger with French and Vietnamese dual nationality who was arrested at his home in Ho Chi Minh City this evening, and urges the French authorities to take action in his defence.
Police officers knocked on Hoang’s door at around 6 pm, saying they wanted to do an ID check. But, after entering his home, they arrested him in a heavy-handed manner and told him he would be expelled within 24 hours in accordance with an “extradition” order issued by the Bureau of Immigration.
Sources say the police had a camera to film the arrest, as they have in the past when arresting Vietnamese activists. The recordings are often used for state propaganda purposes.
RSF urges the Vietnamese government to refrain from expelling Hoang. His expulsion, which would be iniquitous and contrary to Vietnamese legislation, is simply designed to reinforce the climate of fear that the Communist Party has created in Vietnam.
RSF also calls on the French government to take swift and effective measures to prevent his expulsion. Hoang appealed for action by the French government in an interview for RSF last week.
The Vietnamese authorities paved the way for Hoang’s expulsion by announcing that a presidential decree stripped him of his Vietnamese citizenship last month.
Vietnam has one of the worst scores in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index, in which it is ranked 175th out of 180 countries.