Vietnam is jailing female activists over their Facebook posts

Tran Thi Nga during an anti-China rally in Hanoi in 2012. AFP/Getty Images
New York PostVietnam is jailing female activists over their Facebook posts

Tran Thi Nga has just been handed a nine-year prison sentence which will be followed by five years of probation.

Her crime? For writing Facebook posts fighting for labor and political rights, according to Quartz.

She’s been outspoken on water contamination by a steel plant, China’s stance in the South China Sea and land rights. In addition to her Facebook posts, she’s also written blog posts and uploaded videos to YouTube.

Officially her charge is of conducting anti-State propaganda under Clause 1 of Article 88 of the Penal Code.

Her reason for being outspoken was brought on after she worked as a maid in Taiwan and then in a factory. After returning to Vietnam she realized that as a migrant she was being exploited and mistreated and she wanted things to change.

And Thi Nga is the second female blogger to be jailed in less than a month.

Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, a blogger and single mother also known as “Mother Mushroom,” was recently sentenced to 10 years behind bars after being outspoken on Vietnam’s environmental problems. She said she just wanted a better future for her children.

Four hundred of her Facebook posts were used as evidence against her.

Both women are just two of the many bloggers being harassed, arrested and imprisoned by Vietnam, many of them female and they are often arrested because of their Facebook activity.

The internet increasingly offers people an outlet to voice their opinions but the risks are high, as authorities crack down.

Human Rights Watch says Vietnam is in the midst of a crackdown on bloggers and activists and wants donors to pressure Vietnam over the issue.

Amnesty International UK has also called for Thi Nga’s conviction and sentence to be reversed.

“The government is destroying the lives of brave individuals and their families simply to intimidate others from raising their voices,” a spokesperson told Quartz.