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Catholic blogger Paulus Le Son was arrested in Hanoi yesterday during a major police operation targeting around 10 Catholics. Reports suggest Son’s arrest, his second this year, is linked to his attempts to cover court proceedings against cyber-dissident Cu Huy Ha Vu, who is currently appealing against his seven-year jail term for disseminating anti-government propaganda, having advocated a multi-party system. Vietnam was ranked 165th out of 178 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ 2010 press freedom index.
A lawyer has been sentenced to seven years in prison and a further three years’ house arrest. Cu Huy Ha Vu’s trial lasted for one day, during it one of his lawyers was ejected and another three walking out in protest. The court convicted him of defaming Vietnam and producing propaganda against the state. Vu has called for an end to the country’s one-party system and has twice tried to sue the Vietnamese prime minister. He is the son of a famous Vietnamese poet who was a revolutionary leader in the Ho Chi Minh government.