Danlambao - The mother of blogger Me Nam has just issued an emergency alert about her family’s situation and safety concerns. Her daughter, blogger Me Nam (Mother Mushroom), Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, who is currently in police custody under Article 88 since October 10, 2016 for interrogation and investigation for peacefully exercising her right to free expression.
On the evening of May 20, 2017, the blogger's house at 24 Dang Tat, Nha Trang was surrounded by over 50 security policemen in both plain clothes and uniforms. The entire alley leading to her house has been blocked and her house is under siege by the police. The mother of the blogger, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Lan is still being confined by the police at the time of this news report.
On her personal facebook page, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Lan shares the following:
“Various police forces including the police, security police, and civil defense units have been staking out in front of my house since the day before. Nobody notifies me of the reasons why my house is being surrounded and why my family is being confined. They do not let me or anyone in my family out of the house.
I am a citizen who does not break any law, and is an old woman who cannot even handle a stick. Keeping me locked up in the house for whatever reason is unacceptable.
This behavior of the State Police and the Police of Khanh Hoa province reflects a pattern of abuse of power, and state oppression of the elderly, the weak, and the vulnerable children."
This confinement is believed to be related to the upcoming Vietnam-US Human Rights Dialogue 2017, scheduled for May 23, 2017 in Hanoi city. It is anticipated that during this dialogue, the arbitrary detention of blogger Mother Mushroom will be one of the important topics for discussion on the agenda. And the act of confinement of the blogger’s family is deemed a brazen maneuver to stop contacts between the US diplomatic delegation and her family before the Human Rights Dialogue.
There also may be another reason for the police confinement of the blogger’s family: Blogger Mother Mushroom, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh was recently recognized by the US Department of State for her efforts in advocating for human rights, and was awarded with the prestigious 2017 International Women of Courage Award. It is believed that the Vietnamese authorities are confining the blogger’s mother in an effort to stop her from meeting with the U.S. delegates to receive such award on her daughter’s behalf.
The United States government has repeatedly demanded the Vietnamese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release blogger Mother Mushroom, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh.