World Bulletin / News Desk
Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, 37, who publishes under the name Mother Mushroom, was accused of “spreading propaganda” against Vietnam’s single party communist state, reported the local Tuoi Tre newspaper Tuesday.
Some 400 Facebook posts, according to a statement issued by Khanh Hoa province’s police, offered a “pessimistic, one-sided view that caused public confusion and affected the people’s faith [in the state]”.
Thanks to a vaguely worded penal code, Vietnamese authorities have broad powers to imprison people for criticizing the state or ruling Communist Party.
The government was particularly angered about a document Quynh posted titled Stop police from killing civilians, which listed the names of 31 people who had allegedly died in police custody throughout Vietnam.
“The document prompts readers to misunderstand the nature of the issue, besmirches the reputation of the people’s police force, and damages the relationship between police and the people,” read the police statement according to Tuoi Tre.
The arrest comes less than a month after a court in Hanoi upheld a five-year prison sentence for blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh, a former state security agent who hosted a website containing posts critical of the regime, on similar charges.
Vietnam is consistently ranked one of the world’s least free countries for media. Reporters Without Borders ranks Vietnam 175th place out of 180 countries for press freedom.