Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Vietnam 16 December 2005

Confirmation of arrests of the Kiem Street chat room users

After obtaining confirmation of the arrests of three young Internet users at their home on Nguyen Kiem Street in Ho Chi Minh City on 19 October, Reporters Without Borders today condemned their detention as arbitrary and called for their immediate release.

Reached by telephone, Chau Thi Hoang, the mother of Truong Quoc Tuan and Truong Quoc Huy, confirmed that her two sons are still being held along with Lisa Pham, the fiancee of one of the brothers. She said she had an official document saying they were accused of violating article 19 of the criminal code by inciting the population to “overthrow the government.”

Different sources have said the real reason for their arrest was simply their participation in a chat room about democracy on the Pal Talk (paltalk.com) website.

On 8 December, Reporters Without Borders had called on the Vietnamese authorities to explain why they were arrested. The request did not receive any answer.

Reporters Without Borders is also are aware of the details of the official report of the raid carried out on the detainees’ home at 603 Nguyen Kiem Street, which says the police confiscated notebooks, a hard disk, a computer and a printer. It names only one of the three detainees, Truong Quoc Huy.


Weeks go by without news of Kiem Street chat room users

8.12.05

Reporters Without Borders today asked the Vietnamese authorities for information about three Internet users who were arrested at their home on Nguyen Kiem Street in Ho Chi Minh City on 19 October. Local sources say they were detained for participating in a chat room on the Pal Talk (paltalk.com) website.

“We hope this case can be cleared up quickly,” the press freedom organisation said. “If these Internet users were arrested for taking part in an online discussion forum, we will do everything possible to obtain their release. Vietnam recently said it did not deserve to be on the list of Internet enemies which we published in November so we are waiting for it to show its commitment to free expression.”

Local sources say police established a security perimeter around the Truong home on Nguyen Kiem Street when they made their arrests. A total of four people were originally detained : Truong Quoc Tuan, his two brothers, Truong Quoc Huy and Truong Quoc Nghia, and his fiancee, Lisa Pham, a Vietnamese with US residency.

Truong Quoc Nghia was reportedly released later, but Reporters Without Borders is still without any word of the other three. They are supposedly being held for taking part in a chat room on the Paltalk.com website called “The Voice of the People in Vietnam and Abroad.” The authorities have said nothing about where or why they are being detained.

The chat room has some 200 to 300 regular users who go there to discuss politics and issues concerning Vietnamese society. One of them told Reporters Without Borders: “I am very worried about these young people who were kidnapped outright by the police. We think agents have infiltrated our forum to try to wreck it. For example, someone is currently using a pseudonym very similar to mine in order to discredit me and say I am a communist. These young Internet users may have been taken in by a police agent posing as a friend.”




In this country
20 February - Vietnam
Government frees cyber-dissident while keeping online activities under strict control
19 January - Vietnam
Government announces early release of journalist Nguyen Viet Chien
5 December - Vietnam
Leading blogger’s conviction upheld on appeal
15 October - Vietnam
Newspaper reporter’s two-year sentence deals severe blow to press freedom
10 September - Vietnam
Blogger gets two and a half years in prison after “unfair and unfounded” conviction on tax fraud charge

in the annual report
Vietnam - Annual report 2007
Vietnam - Annual report 2006

reports
4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election
archives

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised