HANOI — Vietnamese police have detained a well-known dissident lawyer, escalating a crackdown on those who speak out against the country’s one-party, authoritarian rule.
Le Quoc Quan was arrested on his way to drop off his children at school Thursday in Hanoi, according to the Vietnamese Redemptorist Church’s website. The state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Friday that Quan was detained for alleged tax evasion.
Quan, 41, had recently complained of harassment by authorities and required hospital treatment in August after being beaten by men he said were sent by the state.
Since that attack, he had taken to carrying a golf club with him for self-defense.
Neither authorities nor Quan’s family were available for comment.
Quan, who was detained in 2007 for three months on his return from a US government-funded fellowship in Washington, is one of Vietnam’s better-known dissidents and maintains a popular blog that highlighted human rights abuses and other issues that are off-limits to the state media.
In an interview in September, Quan said that he was under constant surveillance and that he, his family, and staff received frequent warnings and pressure from authorities.