Will there ever be a Vietnamese Spring?

Two months ago Vietnamese blogger Dieu Clay lost an arm in prison, where he is held for “conducting propaganda” against the state. This sad news raised the issue of the dozens of peaceful political critics and activists, many of whom are bloggers, who have been sentenced to long prison terms in Vietnam during the last few years.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) asked democracy advocate Vo Van Hai if a “Vietnamese Spring” could ever happen:

The ‘Arab Spring’ is definitely an awakening call. But we cannot compare the two situations. Although Tunisia, Egypt and other countries of the Middle East were ruled by dictatorships, there was a two-way flow of information, the circulation of ideas, a development of democratic culture. Under Vietnam’s tight system of censorship and control, these things have not had time to develop. But the seeds have been shown, and they are growing. We must be ready to help people in Vietnam when the moment comes.
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