Fear of the Blogger

Yet another story of a government repressing bloggers with tragic consequences.

Mother of Vietnamese blogger ‘burns herself to death’

Vietnam

The mother of a prominent Vietnamese blogger has died from her injuries after setting herself on fire in front of government offices, her family says.

She was protesting against the detention of her daughter, Ta Phong Tan, who is facing charges of anti-state propaganda, another daughter told the BBC’s Vietnamese service.

Dang Thi Kim Lieng set herself alight in southern Bac Lieu province.

Her daughter faces trial in August and could be jailed for 20 years.

Dang Thi Kim Lieng went alone, without telling anyone, to the local government building in Bac Lieu, the second daughter told the BBC.

Ex-policewoman

The police have made no comment, but activists and lawyers said that Mrs Dang died while being taken by police to a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.

She was said to be extremely worried about the fate of her daughter, who she had not seen since her arrest last September.

Ta Phong Tan was arrested by the authorities with other bloggers, who are also accused of subversive activities in a state that controls the media and has little tolerance for criticism.

She is a former policewoman who built up a following with her reports on police abuses and injustices in the legal system.

Read more

Opinion:

Governments are stupid. It doesn’t matter if it is Vietnam, Ethiopia or the USA. The world of communication has changed, through blogs the people have more voice than before. Controllable media like TV and newspapers are going the way of the dinosaurs for those who want the truth.

If the government fears the blogger, then the government is doing something wrong. Not the bloggers.

The governments need to change their attitudes; not the other way round.

Blogging has brought about levels of transparency that governments have never deal with before. The people are demanding the truth. Governments can no longer hide their criminal activities.

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