On March 9, the Ninh Binh province police arrested Tran Quoc Khanh, saying that this Facebooker broadcast Livestream with content “distorting information against the State and causing public confusion.” Mr. Khanh was arrested after he declared himself candidacy of the National Assembly in the 15th tenure.
Vietnamese media quoted information from the Security and Investigation Agency of the Ninh Binh Police Department alleging that from the end of 2018 to the end of 2020, Mr. Tran Quoc Khanh, 61 years old, used Facebook to personally post and broadcast live streams with “information distorting state policies, defaming the people’s administration, denying the leading role of the Party, opposing the State, and causing confusion among the people.”
The Ninh Binh provincial Police Department’s website said that Mr. Tran Quoc Khanh was arrested and detained for 4 months on charges of “Making, storing, distributing or propagating information, documents and items against the State“. Article 117 of the Criminal Code 2015.
Journalist Phan Bui Bao Thy, in a photo posted on his personal Facebook page, has just been arrested by Quang Tri province police and charged with “abusing democratic freedoms.”
Defend the Defenders (DTD) said on its page that Facebooker Tran Quoc Khanh posted and shared many articles related to serious human rights abuses, systemic corruption among state officials, and the poor response of the communist regime to China’s violations of the country’s sovereignty in the East Sea (South China Sea) as well as its voice about widespread environmental pollution.
DTD’s Director Vu Quoc Ngu told VOA about Facebooker Tran Quoc Khanh’s arrest:
“The arrest of Facebooker Tran Quoc Khanh is the latest act of repression by the Vietnamese communist government against dissidents and social activists after the 13th Party Congress when conservative figures such as General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and Minister of Public Security To Lam were still re-elected to the Politburo. So this trend will continue in the time to come with more people going to be arrested.”
A meeting of Vietnam’s National Assembly.
Recently on his personal Facebook page, Mr. Khanh announced that he would run for the National Assembly as an independent candidate. On March 6, in a Livestream on the National Assembly election proposal, Mr. Khanh reflected the status of the tasks of ministries in the Vietnamese Rule of Law.
It is not clear whether Mr. Tran Quoc Khanh has submitted his application and whether the local authority where he registered as a permanent resident in Bach Khoa ward, Hai Ba Trung district, Hanoi will agree to accept it or not.
Mr. Khanh said on Facebook that in September 2019 he sent his application for the establishment of the Vietnam Democratic Association to the Department of Non-Governmental Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior, but the agency received the document and replied to him “Invalid.”
According to his Facebook information, the Vietnam Democratic Association is a socio-political organization to gather and unite Vietnamese individuals and organizations who are enthusiastic and voluntary to strive to work for ensuring Vietnamese civil and human rights as well as an obligation and prevent all acts of infringing on civil rights.