The detention was taken at 11 AM and the police took her to a police car to the police station in Cau Kho ward in District 1. Her friends tried to connect her by cell phone but failed. by Vu Quoc Ngu, Dec 13, 2015
Security agents in Vietnam’s southern economic hub Ho Chi Minh City on December 13 arrested Nguyen Phuong Uyen, a former prisoner of conscience when she stayed with her friends in a local cafeteria.
The detention was taken at 11 AM and the police took her to a police car to the police station in Cau Kho ward in District 1. Her friends tried to connect her by cell phone but failed.
Ms. Nguyen Chieu Anh, the owner of the cafeteria, was also summoned to the police station in Da Kao ward in the same district.
Witnesses said the local authorities deployed a large number of police officers, including plainclothes ones to block the areas surrounding the cafeteria.
Informed by the detention, dozens of human rights activists in HCM City gathered in police station to demand for her release. However, the police denied to hold her.
Police have deployed a number of thugs, government-supported women and young people to threaten activists.
Local activists said the reason for Phuong Uyen’s detention may be that she has a book named The Dream of Thuy (Ước Mơ của Thủy) of young author Le Viet Ky Nhi in her suitcase. The book, introduced by Phuong UYen, tells about the willingness to reform the country. It is considered a challenge for the one-party regime in Vietnam.
Phuong Uyen, 23, was arrested by police in the southern province of Long An in November 2012 on allegation of conducting anti-state propaganda when she was the third year student in the HCMC-based University of Food Technology. In 2013, she was sentenced by the first hearing to six years in prison for the same charge but the appeal court later in the same year sentenced her to three years in probation. She was released in August 2013.
Since being freed, Phuong Uyen has been a subject of regular harassment of police. In September 2013, she was beaten and detained by Hanoi’s police when she visited local activists.
She was not allowed to continue her higher education in the University of Food Technology.
Vietnam’s government has intensified crackdown against political dissidents and human rights activists several months ahead of the ruling communist party’s National Congress slated in early 2016.
A number of activists, including Nguyen Huu Vinh (aka Anh Ba Sam), Tran Anh Kim and Nguyen Viet Dung, have been arrested while many others, including human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and labor activist Do Thi Minh Hanh have been brutally attacked by plainclothes policemen.