Vietnamese journalist Nguyen Hoai Nam was arrested by police in Ho Chi Minh City on April 3, 2021, on accusations of “abusing democratic rights and freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the State” under Article 331 of the penal code. He is being held in detention at Ho Chi Minh City’s Chi Hoa Detention Center while authorities investigate the accusation.
Nam, who previously reported for state media outlets including Phap Luat (Law Journal), Thanh Nien (Youth Newspaper), and Voice of Vietnam Radio, posts independent reporting and commentary on Facebook, according news reports.
On Facebook page, which has about 7,800 followers, Nam recently wrote about alleged government corruption. He also frequently posted criticism of Communist Party officials, according to the U.S. Congress-funded broadcaster Radio Free Asia and CPJ’s review of his page.
On September 6, the Ho Chi Minh City Police Investigation Bureau recommended that the Public Prosecution Office indict Nam under Article 331, according to local reports.
According to the police investigation, Nam had made false allegations about an official cover-up of wrongdoings at the Vietnam Inland Waterway Administration, which was the subject of a court trial, the reports said.
If convicted of violating Article 331, Nam could face up to seven years in prison.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, which oversees the country’s prison system, did not respond to CPJ’s emailed requests for comment about Nam’s status and treatment in prison in late 2021.