Tạ Phong Tần, Vietnam, jailed since September 2011

[box style=”blue announcement rounded ” ]Vietnam is the fifth worst jailer of journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, with 18 reporters currently behind bars. Of those, 16 of them were arrested for online journalism.[/box]

TẠ PHONG TẦNWan-Ifra  | 18.04.2014

Vietnamese blogger Tạ Phong Tần has penned over 700 articles on her blog ‘Justice & Truth’ in one of the world’s most restrictive countries for freedom of expression. She has written primarily about social issues, from the mistreatment of children and poor people to high-level corruption and police abuse – the latter to which she offered personal testament as a former police officer. Tần said authorities often harassed her over her writing and was once even interrogated for a blog post about a dream in which she met Karl Marx. She later remarked, “So the state even controls our dreams. The people are only allowed to dream what the state tells them to!”

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Widely recognised as one of Vietnam’s first outspoken bloggers, Tần was arrested on September 5, 2011 on anti-state propaganda charges for her blog posts about government corruption. She was sentenced on October 4, 2012 to a decade in prison, prompting her to break down in tears in the courthouse. Several months earlier, her mother had self-immolated in front of a municipal building in protest at her daughter’s charges.

In Vietnam, people have taken to blogs to write about news events or opinions deemed inappropriate for the state-dominated mainstream media. While the Internet has opened new avenues for communication, bloggers have become prime targets of the government.

Vietnam is the fifth worst jailer of journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, with 18 reporters currently behind bars. Of those, 16 of them were arrested for online journalism.

FreethePress calls for the release of Tạ Phong Tần and all other journalists and bloggers jailed in Vietnam

See the full letter