petition to free Vietnamese blogger Dieu Cay
His Excellency Truong Tan Sang
President, Socialist Republic of Vietnam
His Excellency Nguyen Tan Dung
Prime Minister, Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Dear President Sang and Prime Minister Dung:
We join the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in
calling on your government to immediately release blogger Nguyen Van Hai and
expressing our deep concern about the deteriorating
of press and Internet freedom in Vietnam.
Nguyen Van Hai, who is also popularly known by his penname, Dieu
was sentenced last year to 12 years in jail, as well as five years of house
arrest, under a vague law that bars “conducting propaganda” against the state. His
blogs have touched on politically sensitive issues, including government
corruption and protests against China, which disputes Vietnam's claim to nearby
In his time in prison, Hai has endured solitary
confinement and waged a hunger strike. His prison visits are heavily
restricted, and his family members say his health has deteriorated to such a
degree that he is barely recognizable.
number of journalists, including Hai, remain imprisoned in the country in 2013.
Most of them published blogs or
contributed to online news publications. CPJ’s most recent prison census ranked
Vietnam the second worst jailer of journalists in Asia, behind only China.
This year, CPJ
honored Hai in absentia with an International Press Freedom
Award. His plaque will be held until he is released.
Since 2008, your government has presided
over a campaign of harassment and intimidation that has targeted the country’s
few independent online journalists and bloggers. In addition, a new decree passed
this year further restricts online freedoms, including a ban on bloggers
linking to news sites.
We urge you to immediately release
Hai and all other imprisoned bloggers and journalists, and allow for the free flow
of information in Vietnam.