UCA News
Contribute

China

Bloggers freed after questioning on ´national security breaches´

Updated: September 15, 2009 11:01 AM GMT
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Share this article :

A blogger who criticized controversial mining projects and is a Catholic has been released by government authorities after being held on charges of violating national security laws. Another two men, one of whom is preparing to become a Catholic, were also released after questioning on similar charges. Local sources reported that Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, who published her Internet blog under the pseudonym "Me Nam" (mother of mushrooms), was freed from a local police station on the afternoon of Sept. 12. Public security officers detained Quynh, 31, in her native Nha Trang, central Vietnam, early this month and accused her of "violating national security laws." The Catholic woman had criticized government policy concerning relations with China and two bauxite mining projects in the central highlands. Opponents say the Chinese-run projects will damage the environment. Earlier, in July, security officials questioned Quynh for several hours about her wearing a green T-shirt with slogans against the mining projects. The mother of one child reportedly said she had to promise to end her blog before her recent release. Nguyen Phuong Nga, Ministry of Foreign Affairs´ spokesperson, said during a press conference on Sept. 11 that security officials had also released Bui Thanh Hieu, a popular blogger who wrote under the pseudonym "Nguoi Buon Gio" (wind trader), and Pham Doan Trang, a reporter from state-run VietnamNet, an electronic newspaper. According to local sources, Hieu was freed on Sept. 5 and Trang the next day. Hieu, 37, a Ha Noi resident, has been attending Church courses in preparation for baptism as a Catholic. Public security officers detained him on Aug 27, reportedly for criticizing the government´s social and religious policies. They confiscated his private computer and searched his house. Trang, 31, reportedly was detained at the end of August after she produced reports on sovereignty claims concerning the South China Sea and the Paracel Islands, subject of a dispute between Vietnam and China. The foreign affairs spokesperson said the three were detained for questioning since they showed "signs of undermining national security."

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
 
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia