August 8, 2017
Nguyen Thi Tuyet Lan, the 61-year-old mother of imprisoned Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, has struggled to cope since her daughter was sentenced to 10 years in jail for her anti-government advocacy in June.
Unemployed and left to provide for Quynh’s two small children, Lan said the future looks bleak.
“My life has been upside-down since my daughter was arrested and jailed,” she said. “I am trying to pass this life day by day, but I don’t know how long I can stand it.”
Quynh – also known by her pen name Mother Mushroom – was sentenced on June 29, at the beginning of a nationwide crackdown on dissidents that has been draconian even by Vietnam’s standards.
The country is ruled by a single-party communist state that broadly criminalizes dissent.
Five days before Quynh’s conviction, activist Pham Minh Hoang, a Vietnamese-born French national whose Vietnamese citizenship was forcibly revoked earlier that month, was deported to Paris, separating him from his family.
Fresh charges, arrests and convictions against at least eight more dissidents followed in July.
The recent crackdown has cast a wide net, with targets ranging from bloggers to lawyers.
On July 24, Vietnamese police arrested Le Dinh Luong on charges of attempting to “overthrow” the government. A day later, activist Tran Thi Nga was sentenced to nine years in prison on anti-state charges.
Two activists, including high-profile human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and his colleague Le Thu Ha, were charged on July 30 with attempting to “overthrow” the government. Four activists connected with Dai were also arrested the same day on the same charge.