Vietnam police arrest dissident for propaganda against state

HANOI (Reuters) - Police in Vietnam arrested a dissident on Saturday (Jan 21) for posting anti-state material on the internet, as part of an ongoing crackdown on critics of the country's Communist rulers.

Tran Thi Nga, 39, was arrested in northern province Ha Nam, the province's police said on their website, adding that she had been "using the internet to spread some propaganda videos and writings that are against the government of the Social Republic of Vietnam."

Several local dissidents and bloggers showed support for Nga in posts on their Facebook accounts after her arrest.

Despite sweeping reforms to its economy and increasing openness toward social change, including gay, lesbian and transgender rights, Vietnam's ruling Communist Party retains tight media censorship and zero tolerance for criticism.

At the end of 2015, there were at least 130 political prisoners in Vietnam, according to the New York-based Human Rights Watch.

In October, police detained prominent blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, or "Me Nam" (Mother Mushroom), and another anti-government blogger was picked up nearly a month later.