Paulus Lê Sơn

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Paulus Le Son is a Vietnamese blogger, member of the Catholic church and dissident who has been arrested in Vietnam in 2011 and sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2013.

2011 arrest[edit]

Son was previously arrested in April 2011 trying to attend the trial of well-known cyber-dissident Cu Huy Ha Vu. On August 12, 2011, Son was trying to attend a hearing on Cu Huy Ha Vu's appeal against Vu's seven-year jail sentence.[1] The next morning, on August 13, 2011 at around 11:30am policed blocked the road around his home in Thanh Hóa Province, and deliberately caused him to fall from his motorcycle as he was coming home. Four police offers dragged him into a police car.[1]

The arrest happened during the 2011 crackdown on Vietnamese youth activists which included 17 other Vietnamese youth activists.

2013 Conviction[edit]

On January 9, 2013, a trial was held by the People's Court of Nghệ An Province for 14 democracy activists, including Paulus Le Van Son. All of them were sentenced to 3–13 years in prison on charges of subversion.[2] During the court case, Paulus Le Son was accused of participating in a training of Viet Tan ,[3] a US-based pro-democracy organization to establish democracy and reform Vietnam through peaceful and political means.[4][5] During the trial, Son was the only defendant of the 14 not to have acknowledged any wrongdoings.[3]

During the trial, a large number of police were deployed around the court, with police detaining a number of other bloggers who attempted to attend the trial.[2]

International Response[edit]

Reporters Without Borders quickly condemned the arrest in 2011 and called for his immediate release.[1] In a statement, the organization states that "We are appalled by the brutality of Son's arrest, which has all the hallmarks of a police kidnapping"[1]

Following the 2013 trial, Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch, condemned the arrest and calls for the "convictions to be squashed immediately". He states "The conviction of yet more peaceful activists is another example of a government that is increasingly afraid of the opinions of its own people. Instead of imprisoning critics, the Vietnamese government should be honoring them for their efforts to address the myriad problems facing the country that the government itself has also identified."[2]

Following the 2013 trial and conviction, Reporters Without Borders quickly emerged and stated that it is "appalled at the groundless verdict handed down yesterday by a court in northern city of Vinh" and that it is the position to prove his innocence. The statement also reads that "We have proof that the Vietnamese authorities use false pretexts to convict bloggers that criticize them"[3]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "BLOGGER PAULUS LE SON ARRESTED AGAIN AMID MOUNTING TENSION". Reporters Without Borders. 2011-08-04. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
  2. ^ a b c "Vietnam: Release Convicted Activists - Drop Charges Against Blogger Le Quoc Quan". Human Rights Watch. 2013-01-09. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Vietnam RWB Says Can Prove Innocence Of Convicted Blogger Paulus Le Son". Eurasia Review. 2013-01-11. Archived from the original on 2014-04-08. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
  4. ^ "Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs" (PDF). 2008-03-12. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 2, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  5. ^ Alistair Coe (2009-11-12). "Alistair commends Vietnam pro-democracy movement". Retrieved 2009-12-06.