Vietnam arrested at least four people last week in the lead-up to its national day on Sunday, state media said, accusing them of attempting to sabotage national security.
Authorities warned citizens to heed calls to not protest during Sunday’s independence day, vowing harsh penalties for anyone who causes “social instability“.
On Saturday, police in Can Tho province arrested two men over their calls on Facebook for demonstrations, according to a report by state-run media. Doanh Khanh Vinh Quang, 42, and Bui Manh Dong, 40, had also published posts ”defaming party, state and senior leaders”, the report said.
The most high-profile detention was of an alleged member of the US-based anti-government group Viet Tan, which Vietnam considers a terrorist organisation.
Le Quoc Binh, 44, was arrested on Wednesday in Binh Dinh province in possession of seven rifles and 500 bullets brought in from neighbouring Cambodia, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
The weapons were intended to ”cause unrest on national day”, it said, adding that Binh possessed many ”anti-state documents”.
A 38-year-old shrimp farmer, Nguyen Ngoc Anh, was also arrested on Thursday in Ben Tre province for planning a national day protest. It remains unclear if the four men are connected.