Vietnamese blogger jailed for 10 years for ‘defaming’ regime

3 weeks ago

Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, alias ‘Mother Mushroom’ criticized authorities over human rights and civilian deaths in police custody
Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh in dock

Associated Press in Hanoi

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An outstanding Vietnamese blogger has been sentenced to 10 years in jail after being observed guilty of distorting authorities policies and defaming the Communist regime in Facebook posts and in interviews with overseas media, her legal professional stated. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, additionally known as “Mother Mushroom”, became sentenced at the quiet of a one-day trial in the south-principal province of Khanh Hoa, her legal professional, Vo An Don, said.

The conviction related to the content material of 18 articles on her Facebook web page and interviews with foreign information outlets which include Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, Don said.

Quynh, 37, co-based a network of bloggers and could be very popular in Vietnam. She has written about human rights, civilian deaths in police custody, and the release of toxic chemicals by a Taiwanese-owned manufacturing facility that killed lots of fish in considered one of Vietnam’s worst environmental disasters.

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A popular French fitness blogger has died after a whipped cream dispenser exploded into her chest.

Rebecca Burger, 33, who wrote about fitness and journey on social media, in which she had 55,000 Facebook and 154,000 Instagram fans, died ultimate weekend in what her family defined as a “home accident” at her home at Mulhouse, eastern France.

According to her own family, the dispenser, a kitchen utensil, exploded hitting her chest causing a heart attack. She becomes taken to the hospital, however, died the next day. The neighborhood prosecutor’s workplace has opened an research.

This week, Burger’s household took to social media to warn: “Tens of lots of defective siphons are nevertheless obtainable.”

On her Instagram page, they wrote: “It’s with extremely good unhappiness that we announce the death of Rebecca on Sunday 18 June 2017 following an accident in the domestic.” It changed into signed “her grieving family, pals, and husband”.


French customer mag 60 Million de Consommateurs said it had warned readers about the gas tablets in cream dispensers for years after about 60 reports of exploding siphons inflicting injuries ranging from damaged teeth, tinnitus, multiple fractures and, in one case, the loss of a watch. The hassle affected more than a dozen models produced between 2009 and 2013, the mag stated.


“Due to a fault in its idea, the siphon’s plastic cap seems lots too fragile to face up to being positioned underneath strain … as a result, the siphon may want to explode and injure the consumer and those around them,” the mag warned.

One sufferer told RTL radio in 2013: “I had six broken ribs and my sternum turned into damaged. At the medical institution, I was informed that if the surprise and blast have been in front of the heart, I would be lifeless by now.”

Quynh, the single mother of two younger kids, maintained her innocence throughout the trial, her attorney said. “Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh did now not admit that she dedicated any crime, announcing she has a proper to freedom of expression,” Don stated.

Don said the sentence becomes “too harsh and unjust” and that Quynh plans to attraction in opposition to the decision. Quynh’s sentencing drew a stern rebuke from the USA, which said it turned into “deeply worried” about her conviction and those of different nonviolent protesters over the last yr.

“The United States calls on Vietnam to release Mother Mushroom and all other prisoners of moral sense without delay, and to allow all individuals in Vietnam to express their views freely and collect peacefully with out fear of retribution,” said Heather Nauert, spokeswoman for the Department of State.

Quynh changed into arrested in October in the course of a visit to a fellow activist in jail. International human rights agencies along with Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Sweden-based totally Civil Rights Defenders have known as for her on the spot launch.


“The scandal here isn’t what Mother Mushroom said, but Hanoi’s stubborn refusal to repeal draconian, rights-abusing laws that punish nonviolent dissent and tarnish Vietnam’s global reputation,” said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch’s deputy Asia director.

In a joint declaration, Amnesty International and Civil Rights Defenders advised Vietnam “to refrain from criminalizing and prosecuting human beings for peacefully expressing the right to freedom of expression and to admire and shield the right to a truthful trial”.

Responding to the calls for the blogger’s launch, foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said Quynh’s trial become held in accordance with Vietnamese law. “Like other international locations in the world, in Vietnam, all regulation-violating acts need to be strictly handled according to with the guidelines of Vietnamese regulation,” Hang said at a normal news briefing.

In March, Quynh acquired the International Women of Courage Award from the US State Department, supplied by way of the primary female, Melania Trump. Vietnam stated the award “become now not suitable and of no benefit to the development of the members of the family between the two nations”.

In 2015, Quynh was given the Defender of the Year award with the aid of the Swedish rights group Civil Rights Defenders.

According to Human Rights Watch, there are about a hundred and ten acknowledged political prisoners in Vietnam. Vietnam denies that it holds any political prisoners, pronouncing most effective individuals who damage the regulation are placed behind bars.

Robyn H. Dragoo