Suggest Egypt-style revolt in Vietnam, go directly to jail


An armed policeman stands guard next to a portrait of late president Ho Chi Minh (R), founder of today's communist Vietnam, and Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin (L), outside the venue of the current 11th national congress of the Vietnam Communist Party (VCP) in Hanoi on January 17, 2011. Vietnam's ruling communists met on January 17 to choose a new batch of leaders who are expected to oversee a drive to modernise the economy while refusing to abandon the country's authoritarian political system.



Just two days ago, Vietnamese doctor and activist Nguyen Dan Que wrote this in a Washington Post op-ed:

"While the world's attention is riveted on the Middle East, democracy continues to struggle to take root in other regions."

Tonight, he's in prison.

The outspoken 69-year-old is accused of calling for strikes against Vietnam's one-party system from “reactionary and hostile elements" both inside and outside the country, according to the Financial Times. His long-running bid to stoke reform in Vietnam has earned Nguyen Dan Que a total of 20 years in prison.

As in China, where Middle East-inspired protests were immediately crushed, it appears Vietnam will not tolerate even the tiniest buds of a potential uprising.