Vietnam arrests well-known blogger for criticism

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HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnamese police have arrested one of the country's better known bloggers for posting criticism of the communist government, the latest in an intensified crackdown against dissent in the one-party, authoritarian state.

The Ministry of Public Security said in a statement that police arrested 61-year-old Pham Viet Dao at his home in Hanoi on Thursday. He was accused of violating Article 258 of the Penal Code for "abusing democratic freedoms." The offense carries up to seven years in prison.

The statement said his arrest and searches of his home were conducted in accordance with the law.

Last month, police arrested another well-known blogger for the same charges.

At least 38 activists have been imprisoned on charges of violating national security laws, which critics say were vaguely regulated to silence peaceful expression.

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