Rights groups calls for release of Vietnamese blogger

Rights groups calls for release of Vietnamese blogger

Rights groups calls for release of Vietnamese blogger

Updated 19 December 2011, 15:44 AEDT

A media rights watchdog has urged Vietnamese authorities to free a blogger arrested before the Olympic torch relay through the capital, Ho Chi Minh.

Nguyen Hoang Hai, who blogs under the pseudonym of Dieu Cay, was arrested April 19 for tax fraud.

Media right monitoring group, Reporters Without Borders, says official accusations that Dieu Cay had not paid 10 years of property taxes was a pretext to prevent him demonstrating.

The Beijing flame was dogged by protests against China's rule of Tibet and other human rights issues on several stops on its global journey.

Dieu Cay's arrest came 10 days before the torch passed through Ho Chi Minh city.

Reporters Without Borders says he was a known critic of some of Beijing's policies, including the Tibet autonomous region and the disputed Paracel and Spratley archipelagos, claimed by several countries including China and Vietnam.

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