Posted January 4, 2006
Do Nam Hai, freelance
Police in Ho Chi Minh City interrogated Hai overnight about his efforts to make 11 copies of his book, Let's Have a Referendum, which was published in the U.S. in September. Hai, commonly known by his pen name Phuong Nam, was detained at around 5 p.m., according to a statement by the writer. He was deprived of sleep by four security agents who took shifts questioning him before releasing him the next day. Hai feared that authorities planned to arrest him.
Hai, who has published articles calling for democratic reform in Vietnam, has previously been subjected to official harassment. In August 2004, he was held in police custody for two days, and was detained again overnight in December 2004.
The government controls the media in Vietnam, and restricts independent publishing. Three Vietnamese writers—Nguyen Khac Toan, Nguyen Vu Binh and Pham Hong Son—were imprisoned in 2005 on antistate charges for writings distributed online.