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CPJ urges Vietnam to disclose location of detained journalist Truong Huy San

 JournalismPakistan.com
 June 08, 2024

CPJ urges Vietnam to disclose location of detained journalist Truong Huy San

BANGKOK—Vietnamese authorities must reveal the whereabouts of independent journalist Truong Huy San, release him, and drop any pending charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.

San, a well-known political commentator and author also known by his pen names Huy Duc and Osin, was apprehended by the police on June 1 in the capital Hanoi while traveling to an event where he was scheduled to speak, and his home was also searched, according to multiple news reports.

San's family had no news about his location or legal status, the BBC reported on June 4. CPJ has received no new information as of Thursday.

"Vietnamese authorities should immediately disclose where they are holding journalist Truong Huy San and release him unconditionally," said Shawn Crispin, CPJ's senior Southeast Asia representative. "Vietnam must stop treating journalists like criminals and release all members of the press wrongfully held behind bars."

Days before his arrest, San wrote critical commentary about Vietnamese politics on his Facebook page, which was shut down on June 2 for unknown reasons, those sources said.

In his posts, San wrote about two of Vietnam's top leaders—the ruling Communist Party's long-serving chief Nguyen Phu Trong and President To Lam, who was appointed on May 22 after being nominated by the party, the BBC said.

In his post to his 350,000 followers, San argued that Vietnam's development could not be based on fear and noted Lam's long-time role as Minister of Public Security.—A CPJ News Alert

Lam is widely seen as a contender to replace 80-year-old Trong in the top political position when his third five-year term ends in 2026.

San wrote about corruption and political reform for leading newspapers and published a popular blog before receiving a Nieman Fellowship to study at Harvard University in 2012 and 2013.

Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security, which manages the nation's prisons and authorizes police to make political arrests, did not immediately respond to CPJ's emailed request for comment.

Vietnam was the fifth worst jailer of journalists worldwide, with at least 19 reporters behind bars on December 1, 2023, in CPJ's latest annual global prison census.

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