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Vietnam cracks down on book publisher

HANOI (UCAN): The Liberal Publishing House, an independent publisher said government security agencies have forced local banks to block three of its bank accounts.
“We could not make withdrawals from those accounts but our customers and donors can still make deposits into them,” the publisher said in a statement on August 2.
 
It also accused police and plainclothes security officers of entrapping and chasing its shippers to confiscate its publications.
 
The publishing house called the attacks “a clear sign of interference by the Vietnamese security agencies, who are willing to go to great lengths to secretly disrupt and destroy legitimate activities by independent publishers, authors and journalists.”
 
The statement said, “In light of these oppressive actions by the government, we kindly ask our sponsors, donors and readers to stop depositing money into our accounts until further notice.” 
 
The police attacks came after the publisher offered 1,000 copies of Phan Khang Phi Bao Luc (A Handbook for Freedom Fighters) and hundreds of copies of Chinh Trị Binh Dan (Politics for the Masses) to readers throughout Vietnam without charge in July.
 
The first book provides guidelines for democracy and human rights activists to use non-violent resistance in their fight against police crackdowns. The second book is a basic introduction to political science designed to help people understand the internal politics of Vietnam’s communist government.
 
Both books, in Vietnamese, are written by respected journalist, Pham Doan Trang, who said she would use the money from the proceeds to support prisoners of conscience and their families.
 
Vietnam Democracy Radio, run by Vietnamese American, supports the publishing house by delivering copies of Phan Khang Phi Bao Luc to Vietnamese abroad.
 
Liberal Publishing House said its free-book initiative aimed to raise awareness of human rights, politics and social issues among people so that they can defend themselves from police attacks and take responsibility to build a society of justice and democracy.
 
Established in February, the Liberal Publishing House, Vietnam’s only independent publisher, publishes books without being censored by the government. Its books are written by well-known journalists, activists and former prisoners of conscience.

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