Vietnamese Facebooker Arrested, Accused of Disclosing State Secret Information

Defend the Defenders, October 22, 2020


Authorities in Vietnam’s southern province of Dong Nai have arrested local resident Nguyen Quang Khai on the allegation of “Deliberate disclosure of classified information; appropriation, trading, destruction of classified documents” under Article 337 of the Criminal Code with potential imprisonment of between two and ten years.

According to the notice sent to his family dated October 21, the Security Investigation Agency of the Dong Nai province’s Police Department detained Mr. Khai in an urgent case for the act of copying and disseminating state secrets on his Facebook account Khai Nguyen.

Mr. Khai’s family said that the Dong Nai police detained him to a police station in the morning of October 20 for interrogation and kept him overnight. The next day, police came to his private residence and handed over a notice of arrest to his family. Currently, the 51-year-old freelance worker is held in a temporary detention facility under the authority of the province’s Police Department.

Mr. Khai’s wife has a small food outlet and he helps her run the facility. He often shares and comments on the statuses of other Facebookers, mostly focusing on the corruption of state officials at different levels. He has also participated in charity events to support vulnerable people in their locality.

It is unclear what information he has shared can be classified as state secret information.

Dozens of Vietnamese Facebookers have been arrested or convicted with lengthy imprisonment for their online posts since the communist regime passed the Cyber Security in early 2018, according to Defend the Defenders’ observation.