Vietnam Says Two Bloggers Posted Anti-state Propaganda

Vietnam has detained two bloggers for posting anti-state comments, which the Communist-ruled country said should serve as a warning to others spreading dissent.

Bui Hieu Vo, 55, known as “Hieu Bui” on Facebook, and Phan Kim Khanh, 24, were detained for investigation of “propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” the government said Wednesday on its Facebook page.

Despite sweeping reforms in Vietnam’s economy and increasing openness toward social change, the Communist Party retains tight media censorship and zero tolerance for criticism.

The government said Vo posted “fabricated, distorted and defamed information” against the government and incited the use of petrol bombs and acid to attack leaders of the Communist Party, the state and the police.

Khanh managed two blogs, three Facebook pages and two YouTube channels to post “fabricated and distorted” information against Vietnam, the government statement said.

The government said both bloggers worked with the United States-based Viet Tan, or Vietnam Reform Party, which Hanoi has declared a terrorist group, and that any Vietnamese found to be involved with it would be regarded as co-conspirators and punished.

Neither Vo nor Khanh was available for comment.

Vietnam last week also called on all companies doing business in the country to stop advertising on YouTube, Facebook and other social media until those media companies find a way to halt the publication of “toxic” anti-government information.

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