Vietnam police detain blogger for anti-state propaganda, mother says

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnamese police have arrested a blogger for posting anti-state material on the internet, his mother said on Friday, as part of a crackdown on critics of the country’s Communist rulers.

Tran Hoang Phuc, 23, was arrested in Hanoi for storing material and using the internet to spread propaganda videos against the government, Phuc’s mother told Reuters, citing a police arrest notification.

The mother, who identified herself only a Ut, said she had been told Phuc was arrested last week.

Several dissidents and bloggers have in recent days shown support for Phuc in posts on their Facebook pages.

Police were not immediately available for comment.

Despite sweeping economic reforms and increasing openness toward social change, including gay, lesbian and transgender rights, Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party retains tight media censorship and it does not tolerate criticism.

In June, police has detained a French dissident of Vietnamese descent for deportation after revoking his Vietnamese citizenship.

A court jailed prominent blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, or “Me Nam” (Mother Mushroom) for 10 years for propaganda against state on June 29.

Vietnam has been accused of using vague laws to stifle bloggers and activists who are getting more exposure from the proliferation of social media.

Vietnam has one of Asia’s highest concentrations of internet users.

Editing by Robert Birsel