Dissident exile stops blogging because family back home is being hounded
Reporters Without Borders
March 2, 2020
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is dismayed to learn that Bui Thanh Hieu, a well-known Vietnamese blogger living in exile in Germany, is having to censor himself because of his government’s disgraceful harassment of his family still in Vietnam.
He explains in the post that he has decided to stop blogging because the Vietnamese authorities have been harassing his relatives still in Vietnam, including his 86-year-old mother who is currently hospitalized.
“Many people took advantage of my mother, [using her] to force me to comply with their wishes, they want to turn me into a pawn under their control,” Hieu writes. “This situation just happened in the last few days.”
“It is absolutely despicable that the Vietnamese security apparatus is exploiting the poor health of individuals in order to silence a dissident living abroad,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk.
“The authorities are displaying appalling creativity in their attempts to gag those who try to provide their fellow citizens with alternative information to the Vietnamese Communist Party’s propaganda. We urge foreign diplomats based in Hanoi, above all the German embassy, to closely monitor the harassment of Bui Thanh Hieu’s family.”
violations of its “community standards.” Two other Vietnamese bloggers living in Germany, Trung Khoa Le and Nguyen Van Dai, were the among the targets of this systematic censorship.