Vietnamese Blogger Mother Mushroom’s Health Condition Unclear Amid Hunger Strike

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Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh is shown in court in Nha Trang on Nov. 30, 2017.
Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh is shown in court in Nha Trang on Nov. 30, 2017.

Jailed Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, also known as Mother Mushroom, may be in failing health in what could be the third week of a hunger strike behind bars, according to her mother, who says she last received news of her daughter in a letter sent by prison authorities on July 18.

“My daughter was still on hunger strike as of that date, and I haven’t heard anything about her since then,” the jailed blogger’s mother Nguyen Thi Tuyet Lan told RFA’s Vietnamese Service on July 24.

“I don’t know if she is still on hunger strike or not, or what her health condition is,” Lan said, adding that she has written to prison officials asking for permission to visit her daughter on Thursday.

“They have not responded, though, and we have no other information about her. They gave me a phone number to call, but no one answered the phone when I called.”

“I am very worried,” Lan said.

Quynh began her hunger strike on July 6, citing authorities’ refusal to transfer her to a cell away from a hostile and threatening cellmate.

She has continued since then to refuse food despite being moved to another cell, saying her new cell lacks privacy, with even the toilet visible to guards.

'Propaganda against the state'

Now serving a 10-year prison term following her June 2017 conviction on charges of spreading “propaganda against the state,” Quynh had blogged about human rights abuses and official corruption for more than a decade.

She had also criticized the government’s response to a 2016 toxic waste spill by the Taiwan-owned Formosa Plastics Group that destroyed the livelihoods of tens of thousands of Vietnamese living in four coastal provinces.

In a July 24 statement, the Vietnam-based Vietnam Bloggers Network called on friends and supporters, the UN Human Rights Council, rights groups, and foreign embassies in Vietnam to pay urgent attention to Quynh’s case.

Visits should now be organized to Quynh’s prison in Thanh Hoa province to demand information about her current condition, the Network said, adding that “letters of encouragement” should be sent to the jailed blogger and foreign governments persuaded to apply pressure on Vietnam to secure her release.

Authorities have long targeted activist writers and bloggers in an ongoing crackdown in one-party Communist Vietnam, where dissent is not allowed.

Rights group Amnesty International estimates that at least 97 prisoners of conscience are currently held in Vietnam’s prisons, where many are subjected to torture or other ill-treatment.

Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by Viet Ha. Written in English by Richard Finney.

Comments (2)

Mary Pham

from usa

Don't worry as this mushroom is used to hunger strike (her 3rd and 20 days, counting)! All of Vietnamese hunger strikers are under instructions and supervision of the US-led Amnesty International and thus, propaganda agencies such as American tax-funded VOA, RFA will monitor and intervene timely whenever opportunistic politics arise... What matters are some American politicians get elected by Vietnamese exiles because they are the only ones who can save these poor prisoners!

Jul 26, 2018 10:41 AM

Hate Communist

from ghet bac Ho

Spoiler Alert...This lady could be the next Nobel prize winner, so you dumb communists may want to treat her a little bit better.
Oh well, who cares right?
Having been down at the bottom rung for so long, no worries right?
Wrong! Think about it the next time you board the plane to the free world begging for scraps.

Jul 24, 2018 10:52 PM

Mary Pham

from usa

The last time I look, it's the free world Donal Trump begged Vietnam to buy more US goods and narrow the trade deficits to less than 20 billions! Meanwhile, with the world-leading 7+% economic growth, Vietnamese government does not board airplanes for any other than free-trade negotiations and continued diplomatic expansion...

Jul 26, 2018 11:00 AM

Hate Communist

from ghet bac Ho

Huh? Definitely Fake News!
We all saw it. Your 'daddy' was in the WH with Trump begging for crumbs. Good for Prez Trump, he just let the weird looking Asian man talk - one ear out of the other. Then show him the!
But, you would call that a 'strong' negotiation, wouldn't you? Get a clue...BTW, your FB stinks!

Jul 26, 2018 09:25 PM





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