Vietnam arrests blogger in latest crackdown on dissent

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) " Vietnamese police have arrested a blogger for allegedly posting anti-state comments in the communist country's latest crackdown on dissent.

Ho Van Hai was arrested in southern Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday. According to the southern city's police department, the 52-year-old is accused of "spreading information and documents on the internet that are against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam."

Hai, a medical doctor, blogged under name of BS Ho Hai or Doctor Ho Hai. His blog was not accessible Thursday.

Last month, prominent blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, better known as Me Nam (Mother Mushroom), was arrested on the same charge of anti-state writings. The U.S. and the EU have called for her release, with U.S. Ambassador Ted Osius saying recently he was deeply concerned about Vietnam's crackdown on human rights.

Despite wide-ranging economic reforms, Vietnam maintains tight control over media and zero tolerance on dissent.

International human rights groups and Western governments have criticized Vietnam for detaining or jailing people for peacefully expressing their views, but Hanoi maintains that only law breakers are put behind bars.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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